American Express CEO Chenault sees dip in 2010 pay

AP News
Posted: Mar 04, 2011 6:38 PM
American Express CEO Chenault sees dip in 2010 pay

The chief executive of American Express Co. saw his pay package drop slightly last year, even though the credit card company's profit more than doubled, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing.

Kenneth Chenault, 59, who is also chairman of the New York-based company, got cash and other compensation worth $16.3 million in 2010, compared with $16.8 million in 2009.

The 3 percent year-over-year decline is far smaller than the 61 percent drop in Chenault's pay from 2008 to 2009.

Chenault's base salary for 2010 was $1.9 million, up 62 percent from $1.2 million in 2009. His performance-based cash bonus of $2 million was 61 percent lower than the $5.3 million he got in 2009. American Express had previously said it raised his base salary for 2010 so that more of his compensation came from base pay.

Nevertheless, his stock and option awards jumped. He received stock and options in 2010 worth $11.2 million at the time they were granted, compared with $4 million worth in 2009.

His other compensation of $1.1 million included $200,000 for personal use of a company jet; $139,273 for other travel costs; $438,942 in retirement plan contributions; $135,679 in dividends and dividend equivalents; $75,556 for a home security system, and $53,671 for security during personal trips.

Chenault, who has been chairman and CEO since 2001, got no above-market deferred compensation, compared with $178,500 in 2009, according to Friday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

American Express, which caters to an affluent clientele that recovered from the recession faster than lower income consumers, posted net income of $4.01 billion for 2010, more than twice its 2009 profit of $1.8 billion for 2009.

The company's shares closed Friday down 58 cents at $43.72, up about 2 percent for the year.

The AP's total pay calculations include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission