American Airlines' CEO gains $5.5 million from stock sale

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker pocketed $5.5 million from a sale of stock last week, according to a regulatory filing Friday. Parker sold 231,060 shares that he was awarded in 2007 while chief executive officer of US Airways. Parker sold the shares at prices ranging from $47.88 to $48.73. The shares were priced at $7.42 a share in 2007. Of the total proceeds, about $4 million was withheld to pay taxes Parker will owe for the sale.  The stock options were set to expire on April 14 if he did not sell them, according to a memo to employees. Parker has an option to  sell another 90,000 shares that will expire in April, the airline said. Parker still owns 1.5 million shares of American stock.

"Doug remains a large American shareholder and remains very positive about the future of American," the memo said. "Throughout his time as CEO at US Airways and now at American, the only times he has sold shares is when options were about to expire in the near future." Parker announced in 2015 that he would give up being paid a cash salary and annual bonus, and instead be paid with company stock. Parker said the change would better align his compensation with shareholder interests. The stock award compensation is "at risk, based entirely on the results achieved, and in the same currency that our shareholders receive," Parker wrote in a letter to employees.