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CEO of Southwest Airlines Gets $4 Million in Compensation

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    The CEO of Southwest Airlines Co. received $4 million in compensation for 2013, unchanged from the year before, as he and other top executives didn't get salary increases although profit and the stock soared.

    The airline said in a regulatory filing on Friday that Gary Kelly was paid a salary of $675,000 and a $929,070 bonus and incentives last year. That was a 3 percent decline in bonus and incentive pay.

    Most of Kelly's compensation was in stock awards, which Southwest valued at $2.25 million on the day they were granted, matching the grants he got in 2011. He also received $162,808 in other compensation including deferred pay, contributions to retirement and profit-sharing plans, home security and free travel on the airline.

    Dallas-based Southwest said in a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its board believed Kelly could have received more in stock awards based on his "strong performance and significant contributions." But, the board's compensation committee "deemed it appropriate" to keep the stock award flat.

    Southwest, which is the nation's fourth-biggest airline and owns AirTran Airways, earned $754 million last year, a 79 percent increase over 2012 thanks largely to lower fuel prices. Revenue rose 4 percent to $17.7 billion. Shareholders benefited -- the stock jumped 84 percent.

    Kelly started in Southwest's finance office in 1986. He was chief financial officer before being named CEO in 2004 and chairman in 2008.

    The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest that the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pensions.