Following his achievement of avoiding layoffs and financial collapse as the airline industry struggled during the pandemic, the CEO of DFW International Airport, Sean Donohue, was rewarded with a pay raise on Thursday.
The raise means Donohue, who was hired in 2013, earned $58,000 more in 2021 than his total compensation for 2019.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Donohue was rewarded with a $229,000 bonus on top of his $527,000 base salary for his work in 2021, which saw traffic at the airport pick up the pace by the end of the year to a level that was close to what it was pre-pandemic.
Donohue, who earned nearly $700,000 in 2019, alongside other DFW airport leaders, pledged not to furlough or lay off any employees even as the pandemic devastated the airline industry. He also raised wages for airport workers and contracted janitors to at least $15 an hour.
DFW airport board chair Matrice Ellis-Kirk said Donohue’s guidance got the airport through the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Donohue’s pay package put him among the highest-paid airport executives in the country.
Donohue’s base salary almost doubles that of the general manager of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Balram Bheodari, who earns a total of $310,000, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The DMN reported that Donohue’s $229,000 bonus is calculated based on an annual performance review that includes customer experience scores, budgeting, regulatory enforcement actions, safety, and other yearly objectives formulated by the airport’s board.
According to a calculation made by the DFW airport board, Donohue is among the top ten highest-paid airport CEOs in the world.