Severance for AA's Horton: About $20M

Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:28 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton will leave American Airlines post-merger with a nearly $20 million severance package, a regulatory fling says.

On Thursday, AA announced its intention to merge with US Airways to create the world's largest airline.

US Airways executive Doug Parker is slated to run the new American and Horton, who was promoted to CEO the day before parent company ARM filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, will step aside, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Friday.

But he will walk away with a severance package that includes $9,937,500 in cash and $9,937,500 in shares of the new company's common stock, the newspaper reported.

He is credited with recognizing an earlier merger proposal with US airways undervalued AA. By holding out, he was able to negotiate a better deal for AA shareholders, analysts said.

"When there was talk of a merger right when we were at the outset of our restructuring, I thought that was unwise, I didn't think that would create an outcome that maximized value for our owners. I didn't think it would create a good outcome for our people," Horton said.

Among the perks of his severance deal, Horton, who will help with the transition, will be granted a company office for two years. He will also receive travel benefits for life, the newspaper said.

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