Jeff Smisek walked away with $36.8 million in severance and benefits from United Airlines after he was ousted as chief executive officer last year.
Smisek, 61, received about $6.6 million in cash plus equity awards valued at $29.4 million, according to a proxy statement filed Friday by Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc., the airline’s parent.
He resigned as president, CEO and chairman on Sept. 8, in connection with a probe into the airline’s dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Federal prosecutors are investigating whether the agency, which operates New York area airports, gave concessions to the airline in exchange for it operating an unprofitable route so the agency’s chairman could fly to his weekend home. Two lower-level United executives also left in connection with the probe.
Smisek’s exit package also included about $786,000 in various perquisites, such as lifetime flight benefits and a reimbursement for related tax payments, according to Friday’s filing. United’s clawback policy allows the board to demand repayment of about $10.1 million of his exit payment.
United on Friday also disclosed that the board cut Chief Operations Officer Greg Hart’s 2015 incentive payment by $1 million in connection with the Port Authority probe. The proxy filing doesn’t explain the cut further. He remains operations chief of the airline.
United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said the company had no comment beyond the filing about Smisek’s payout or Hart’s incentive cut.