United, Continental Merger Complete

By Caroline Dobson
Caroline Dobson
Caroline Dobson
October 4, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

NEW CEO: Continental Airlines CEO Jeffrey Smisek is seen testifying in Congress on antitrust issues in the airline industry on May 27. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW CEO: Continental Airlines CEO Jeffrey Smisek is seen testifying in Congress on antitrust issues in the airline industry on May 27. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The world’s largest carrier in terms of traffic was formed on Oct. 1 with the merger of Continental Airlines Inc. and United Airlines, establishing the United Continental Holdings Inc. airline company.

The former chief executive of Continental Airlines will also head the newly formed company, receiving an annual salary of $975,000. He will likely receive 150 percent of his salary as a bonus.

Jeffrey Smisek, who signed a three-year agreement, is likely to have a long-term incentive award in 2011 with a value of $8.4 million as well as a one-time merger bonus of $4 million.

"If you are an airline geek, it doesn't get any better than this: bringing these two carriers together," Smisek said last week. "They are the perfect marriage, the perfect fit. I think we're creating a tremendous carrier here."

However, many long-serving United employees are increasingly discontent since they were unable to recoup pay given the company's three-year bankruptcy.

Glenn Tilton, the CEO of UAL Corp., the parent company of Untied, retired on Oct. 1.

He will get a retainer of $600,000 and grant of $150,000 in terms of limited stock each year.