Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Richard Anderson was awarded a 42 percent pay raise last year, to $12.6 million, as the Atlanta airline’s profit rose 18 percent last year, to $1 billion.
Two other top Delta executives’ pay jumped by about two-thirds last year after the airline said it gave them “special retention awards” to ensure they stayed onboard, a company filing disclosed Tuesday.
The look at the Delta executives’ compensation is part of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis of the pay of Georgia’s top executives over coming weeks. Executive pay has gained increased attention from investors and lawmakers in the wake of the financial crisis and Great Recession. Congress has passed legislation giving shareholders more say on executive pay.
Anderson’s pay raise included his first salary increase since becoming CEO in 2007, to $652,083. It also included a near-tripling of his bonus, to $2.7 million, and a $2 million stock option award. He also received $7 million in restricted company stock and $173,457 in perks.
Delta disclosed that it increased Chief Operating Officer Stephen Gorman’s pay by 66 percent in 2012, to $5.6 million, and the compensation of its network chief, Glen Hauenstein, by 70 percent, to $4.7 million.
Both executives got special retention awards in the form of restricted company stock “to ensure continuity of leadership and recognize the critical nature” of the executives’ talent, Delta said in its proxy filing. The stock awards, which they get to keep after two years, didn’t include any financial performance hurdles in order to vest, as most of the top executives’ stock awards did.
Delta President Ed Bastian’s pay jumped 41 percent last year, to $7.1 million.
The pay hikes come as Delta’s stock and financial performance have strengthened over the past year. Revenue climbed 4 percent last year, to $36.7 billion.
Meanwhile, Delta’s shares rebounded almost 47 percent last year. But at a bit over $17 a share currently, Delta’s stock price is still well below the closing high of $22.79 in 2007, which is when it emerged from bankruptcy protection.
AJC reporter Russell Grantham is tracking what Georgia’s major public companies pay their top executives. Look for perioodic news and trend stories, as well as up-to-date statistics, as Grantham pores through this year’s corporate proxy statements.
How many lifetimes would it take you to earn just one year’s pay for one of the top Georgia CEOs? Visit ajc.com/ceo-pay.