2 top ValuJet officers lose compensation But both profited from sale of stock

April 11, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

ATLANTA -- ValuJet Inc.'s two founding officers slashed their compensation in 1996, a year in which the discount airline was grounded after the crash of Flight 592.

ValuJet Inc. Chairman Robert L. Priddy and Lewis H. Jordan, chairman of the holding company's airline unit, each got $135,781 in salary for the year, down from $150,000 in 1995. And Priddy and Jordan did not receive bonuses or stock options for 1996.

In 1995, Priddy and Jordan received bonuses of $250,000, as well as options for 290,000 shares of stock.

The pay information is included in a proxy statement issued in advance of the company's May 21 annual shareholders meeting in Atlanta.

Priddy and Jordan suspended their own salaries for about a month during the 15-week shutdown that followed the crash, resulting in the salary decrease. They also hired two new senior executives at annual salaries considerably higher than their own.

James R. Jensen, senior vice president of maintenance and engineering, joined ValuJet in July and was paid $110,465 through the end of the year. D. Joseph Corr, president, was hired in November for a $250,000 salary.

ValuJet posted a $41.5 million loss for 1996, including shutdown charges. It began rebuilding operations last fall but will operate in the red at least through the spring, executives say.

Priddy and Jordan, along with nonexecutive founders Maurice Gallagher and Timothy Flynn, control 31.1 percent of ValuJet stock, and they still have realized large profits on their initial investments despite a post-crash plummet in the share price. All four have sold some of their holdings since the shutdown.

Pub Date: 4/11/97

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