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Alaska Air Group CEO compensation totals $2 million

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on March 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
March 30, 2009 2:56 pm

Bill Ayer, chairman of SeaTac’s Alaska Air Group, received compensation worth more than $2 million last year according to a government filing by his airline holding company.

Ayer heads a company that owns both Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

His total compensation last year was $2,022,664 compared with his 2007 compensation of $1,945,736. Those total compensation figures include a base salary plus various stock and stock option awards whose value varies greatly based on the current price of the airline holding company’s stock.

The Alaska board of directors has maintained Ayer’s base salary at $360,000 a year for the last three years. That base salary is less than the $551,375 average base compensation for the CEOs of rival major U.S. airlines.

According to Alaska’s proxy statement, Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden was paid compensation totaling $924,138 last year. Glenn Johnson, the airline company’s chief financial officer, received $1,413,090.

Jeff Pinneo, President of Horizon Air, was paid $858,746 in 2008.

Former Alaska Executive Vice President for Marketing and Flight, Gregg Saretsky, earned $1,701,073. Saretsky resigned effective Dec. 31 last year.

His going away compensation package included $32,308 in payment for unused vacation and a $12,000 payment in lieu of outplacement services. He was scheduled to receive separation payments of $23,350 per month for 17 months beginning January 2009, and a monthly consulting payment of $31,817 per month for 12 months beginning January 2009.

He also received a payment of $36,000 instead of medical coverage for a period of two years following his departure.

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