American Airlines CEO's pay rose as company posted loss

AMR Corp. Chief Executive Gerard Arpey received $5.2 million in total compensation last year, even though the parent company of American Airlines was the only major U.S. carrier to lose money in 2010.

Arpey's compensation grew 11 percent over 2009, boosted by an increase in stock awards and options that were granted in May.

Last year, AMR posted a $471 million loss while other major carriers reported profits. And with rising fuel costs, the Fort Worth-based company reported a $436 million loss for the first quarter.

On its earnings call this week, Wall Street analysts questioned Arpey and other AMR executives about whether they had any original ideas and criticized their lack of focus on short-term objectives. Shares of AMR hit a 52-week low, closing at $5.49 Thursday.

According to the proxy filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, Arpey received a salary of $669,646 for 2010, unchanged from the previous year, and no cash bonus. However, most of his compensation came from $3.3 million in stock awards and $1.2 million in option awards, which were $515,000 higher in value than the stock and options given to Arpey in 2009.

He also received $94,660 in other compensation, including $56,440 for security for his family in 2010.

In describing its methods for executive compensation, the board of AMR said that Arpey's compensation "remains significantly below the median of CEOs" of comparable publicly traded companies.

AMR President Tom Horton, who was promoted in 2010 from chief financial officer, also received a substantial pay increase of 45 percent, to $3.1 million, because of stock and options.

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