Delta awarding CEO $13.6M for closing NWA deal

MINNEAPOLIS,MN - Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson will get stock awards worth almost $13.6 million beginning next year for closing the carrier's buyout of Northwest Airlines.

Employees of Delta Air Lines, including their new coworkers from Northwest, are also getting stock. Atlanta-based Delta had said previously it would hand out about 15% of its shares to various employees, including almost 10% to the rank-and-file. Another 3.5% is going to about 700 officers, directors, and managers.

Anderson will get 760,000 restricted shares, worth almost $8.6 million based on Delta's share price at midday Monday. He also gets options on 1.52 million shares at an exercise price of $7.99 per share, which was Delta's closing share price on Wednesday, just before the Northwest deal closed.

With Delta shares trading at $11.28 at midday Monday, those options could give him a profit of $5 million if they could be exercised right away. However, Anderson has to stay with Delta to get the shares and options, with the first 20% vesting on May 1, 2009, and the last 40% vesting on Nov. 1, 2011.