JetBlue CEO 2010 compensation falls 17 percent

AP News
Posted: Apr 15, 2011 12:12 PM
JetBlue CEO 2010 compensation falls 17 percent

The president and CEO of JetBlue Airways Corp. saw his compensation slip 17 percent last year, despite the airline's surging profit and stock price, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing.

Dave Barger's pay was about $1.2 million in 2010, down from nearly $1.5 million the year before. The executive's base salary of $600,000 made up half of his total pay. It was slightly higher than the $591,667 he made in 2009.

Barger also received a bonus of $33,000 last year. He got no bonus in 2009. The company said the category included signing and spot bonuses, but it didn't break the figure down further. Spot bonuses are often awarded for special achievements during the year. Barger renewed his employment contract last year through 2015.

He also received restricted stock awards valued at $312,249 when they were granted, 38 percent less than what Barger received in similar awards the year before.

Barger was given a performance-based cash bonus of $267,000, 29 percent less than the $375,000 he collected in 2009. The value of Barger's perks _ including contributions to the company's 401(k) and life insurance premiums _ rose 2 percent to $13,768.

Barger, 53, has been CEO of JetBlue since May 2007 and a director since 2001. He was a member of the team that founded JetBlue in 1998.

The airline posted a profit of $97 million last year, up 60 percent from 2009. Revenue jumped 15 percent. The company's stock rose 21 percent. Last year JetBlue marked the 10th anniversary of its first flight.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest 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 pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.