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Tom Horton's Severance Package: American Airlines' CEO To Receive $20 Million Upon Completion of US Airways' Merger

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Feb 19, 2013 02:12 PM EST

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American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Tom Horton
American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Tom Horton announces the planned merger of AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, with U.S. Airways in an $11 billion all-stock deal at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport, February 14, 2013.(Photo : Reuters)

It was already confirmed a week ago that if the $11 billion merger between US Airways and American Airlines is approved by AMR's bankruptcy judge, U.S. antitrust regulators and shareholders late Sept. 2013, that current AA CEO Tom Horton would not be retained.

That being said, no one should feel bad for him because as USA Today reports, Horton's "going-away prize" will be a severance package of "nearly $20 million."

He will get $9.94 million in cash and an equal amount in stock in the new company after the merger. He'll also get an office and office help for two years, and lifetime flight and travel benefits, according to USA Today.

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Horton, 51, joined American in 1985, jumped to AT&T for four years in the 2000s, then returned to the airline and became CEO the day before it filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011, reported USA Today.

AMR said in the filing that its board, of which Horton is chairman, approved the severance package as "reasonable and appropriate" because of his long service at the company, the success of the restructuring "and the value created for the company's financial stakeholders" according to USA Today.

Again, assuming that the merger is approved, Horton would serve as AA chairman until about mid-2014 and then leave the board. He hasn't said what his plans are after that.

Helane Becker, an analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co., said Horton would be a good candidate to lead an airline or a company in another industry, reported USA Today.

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker (L) and American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Tom Horton announce the planned merger of AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, with U.S. Airways at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport,
U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker (L) and American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Tom Horton announce the planned merger of AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, with U.S. Airways at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport,

"Doug Parker (current CEO of US Airways and will-be successor to Horton) has gotten all the attention, but Tom (Horton) has quietly done a good job" leading AMR through bankruptcy, she said "Whatever company gets him will be lucky. He's smart, he works hard, he's energetic," stated USA Today.

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