Southwest CEO Banks Big Bonus

Compensation for 2008 is 17 percent lower.

By Eric Kreindler
|  Friday, Apr 17, 2009  |  Updated 6:00 PM CDT
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Southwest CEO Banks Big Bonus

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Southwest Airlines reported a big loss as it struggles in a weak economy.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly received a 2008 compensation package valued at $1.6 million -- 17 percent less than the year before.

The information came from a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
 
Kelly received $441,121 in salary after a midyear raise last year -- a bonus of $462,000, which matched one he got in 2007. He also received stock options that the company valued at $605,535 when they were issued.
 
The filing comes one day after Southwest reported a $91 million loss in the first quarter.
 
The company blamed the loss on weak traffic in the recession. In addition, the company said it was freezing hiring and offering buyouts to employees to trim its work force.
 
Chief Executive Gary C. Kelly called the financial results "disappointing but not surprising given the current economic environment." He said it was the toughest revenue environment in the company's history.

Kelly also said he saw no reason to expect business travel to improve anytime soon.

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