Election of Directors

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Election of Directors

Proposal 1: Election of Directors to One-Year Terms

The Company’s Bylaws provide that directors shall serve a one-year term. Directors are elected to hold office until their successors are elected and qualified, or until resignation or removal in the manner provided in the Company’s Bylaws. Eleven directors are nominees for election this year and each has consented to serve a one-year term ending in 2019.

Director Nominees for 2018

  • Patricia M. Bedient

  • James A. Beer

  • Marion C. Blakey

  • Phyllis J. Campbell

  • Raymond L. Conner

  • Dhiren R. Fonseca

  • Susan J. Li

  • Helvi K. Sandvik

  • J. Kenneth Thompson

  • Bradley D. Tilden

  • Eric K. Yeaman

View by Qualification:

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  1. Gender
  2. More Diversity

View by years of Tenure:

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  • 0-2

  • 3-5

  • 6-10

  • 11-15

  • 15+

View by Independence:

Independent ()
Non-Independent ()

View by Committee:

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  • Audit


    Number of meetings: 5
    Chair: Eric K. Yeaman

    Audit Committee Financial Expert

    - Patricia M. Bedient

    - Eric K. Yeaman

    • Patricia M. Bedient
    • Dhiren R. Fonseca
    • Eric K. Yeaman
  • Compensation and Leadership Development


    Number of meetings: 5
    Chair: J. Kenneth Thompson

    • J. Kenneth Thompson
    • Marion C. Blakey
    • James A. Beer
  • Governance and Nominating


    Number of meetings: 4
    Chair: Phyllis J. Campbell

    • Patricia M. Bedient
    • Phyllis J. Campbell
    • Eric K. Yeaman
  • Safety


    Number of meetings: 4
    Chair: Helvi K. Sandvik

    • Raymond L. Conner
    • Helvi K. Sandvik
    • J. Kenneth Thompson
    • Marion C. Blakey
    • James A. Beer

View by Age:

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  • 0-45

  • 45-54

  • 55-64

  • 65-74

  • 75+

View by Leadership:

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  • Chairman, President and CEO


    Bradley D. Tilden
    • Bradley D. Tilden
  • Lead Director


    Patricia M. Bedient
    • Patricia M. Bedient
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Patricia M. Bedient

Former Executive Vice President and CFO, The Weyerhaeuser Company


Age: 64
Director since: 2004
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards: Suncor Energy, Inc.;
Park Hotels and Resorts
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Financial Expertise
  • Strategic Planning Experience
  • Public Accounting Experience
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Experience

Professional Highlights:

Ms. Bedient was executive vice president (until July 2016) for The Weyerhaeuser Company, a publicly traded company and one of the world’s largest integrated forest products companies. She was the company’s CFO until February 2016. A certified public accountant (CPA) since 1978, she served as managing partner of the Seattle office of Arthur Andersen LLP prior to joining Weyerhaeuser. Ms. Bedient also worked at Andersen’s Portland and Boise offices as a partner and as a CPA during her 27-year career with the firm. She is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Washington Society of CPAs.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • Overlake Hospital Medical Center Board of Trustees
  • Oregon State University Board of Trustees
  • University of Washington Foster School of Business Advisory Board

Education:

  • BS, Oregon State University

James A. Beer

CFO, Atlassian Corporation


Age: 57
Director since: 2017
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards: ForeScout Technologies, Inc.
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Financial Expertise
  • Aviation Industry Expertise
  • Strategic Planning Experience
  • Technology Experience

Professional Highlights:

Mr. Beer joined Atlassian Corporation PLC, a publicly traded company, as its CFO in February 2018. He was executive vice president and CFO for McKesson Corporation from 2013 to 2017, and CFO at Symantec Corp. from 2006 to 2013. From 1991 to 2006, he held a number of management positions including CFO at AMR Corporation and American Airlines, AMR’s principal subsidiary.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)

Education: 

  • BS Aeronautical Engineering, Imperial College, London University
  • MBA, Harvard Business School

Marion C. Blakey

President and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America


Age: 69
Director since: 2010
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards:
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Extensive experience with airline industry government and trade organizations including:
  • Aviation Industry Expertise
  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • National Transportation Safety Board

Professional Highlights:

Ms. Blakey is president and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America. From 2007 to 2015, she was president and CEO of Aerospace Industries Association, the nation’s largest aerospace and defense trade association. Prior to that she served as the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration from 2002 to 2007 and as chair of the National Transportation Safety Board from 2001 to 2002. She previously served on the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration, the Washington Area Airports Task Force Advisory Board and the International Aviation Women’s Association Advisory Board.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • Noblis Board of Trustees (a non-profit science, technology and strategy organization)
  • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Rolls-Royce North America

Education: 

  • BA, Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia

Phyllis J. Campbell

Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Pacific Northwest Region


Age: 66
Director since: 2002
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards:
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Extensive Business Experience
  • Community Leadership
  • Governance Expertise

Professional Highlights:

Since April 2009, Ms. Campbell has been chairman of the Pacific Northwest Region for JPMorgan Chase & Co., a publicly traded company. She is the firm’s senior executive in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, representing JPMorgan Chase at the most senior level. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Campbell served as president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community philanthropic foundations. She was president of U.S. Bank of Washington from 1993 until 2001 and served as chair of the bank’s Community Board. Ms. Campbell has received several awards for her corporate and community involvement, including Women Who Make A Difference and Director of the Year from the Northwest Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • Toyota’s Diversity Advisory Board

Education:

  • BA, Washington State University
  • MBA, University of Washington

Raymond L. Conner

Former Vice Chairman, The Boeing Company


Age: 62
Director since: 2018
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards: Adient
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Public Company CEO Experience
  • Strategic Planning Experience
  • Aviation Industry Experience
  • Community Leadership

Professional Highlights:

Mr. Conner is former vice chairman of The Boeing Company. Prior to his appointment to vice chairman in 2013, Mr. Conner served in a number of positions with Boeing Commercial Airplanes since 1977, including a variety of roles within the sales, finance and materiel divisions. Most recently, he served as vice president and general manager of the 777 program (2001-2003), vice president of sales for the Americas (2003 to 2007), vice president and general manager of supply chain management and operations (2008-2011), vice president sales, marketing and commercial aviation services (2012), and president and CEO (2013-2017).

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Education:

  • BS, Central Washington University
  • MBA, University of Puget Sound

Dhiren R. Fonseca

Partner, Certares LP


Age: 53
Director since: 2014
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards:
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Technology/IT/Digital Expertise
  • Business Development Experience
  • Financial Experience

Professional Highlights:

Prior to joining Certares LP as a partner in December 2014, Mr. Fonseca was chief commercial officer at Expedia, Inc., where he served for more than 18 years. He contributed greatly to the online travel company’s growth and success, serving in a host of key roles including co-president of its global partner services group and senior vice president of corporate development. Mr. Fonseca helped found Expedia.com as part of the management team at Microsoft Corporation that brought the online travel company to life in 1995 and subsequently took it public in 1999. Before Expedia, he held multiple roles in product management and corporate technical sales at Microsoft Corporation.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • RentPath, Inc.
  • Rackspace, Inc.

Susan J. Li

Alaska Air Group Director Nominee


Age: 32
Director since: 2018
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards:
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Financial Expertise
  • Strategic Planning Experience
  • Technology/IT/Digital Experience

Professional Highlights:

Ms. Li currently serves as a vice president of finance at Facebook, Inc., where she leads the finance and business planning organization. Since joining Facebook in 2008, Ms. Li has served in a number of finance positions, including director of finance from 2013 to 2016, leading teams focused on business operations and financial planning and analysis. Prior to Facebook, she was an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Education:

  • BA and BS, Stanford University

Helvi K. Sandvik

Consultant and Former President, NANA Development Corporation


Age: 60
Director since: 2013
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards:
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • 30+ Years of Private and Public Sector Senior Executive Management and Board Experience
  • Intimate Knowledge of the Native Culture and Transportation Requirements in the State of Alaska
  • Community Leadership Experience

Professional Highlights:

From 1999 to 2016, Ms. Sandvik was president of NANA Development Corporation (NDC), a diversified business engaged in government contracting, oilfield and mining support, professional management services, and engineering and construction. During this time, she oversaw the growth of the NDC from an oil field support services company with revenues of $50 million into a diverse, multi-sector, global enterprise with revenues of $1.5 billion. Ms. Sandvik previously served as vice president operations at NANA Development Corporation and as vice president resources at NANA Regional Corporation. Prior to that, Ms. Sandvik served in a variety of leadership roles within the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, including director of statewide aviation and deputy commissioner. In December 2017, Ms. Sandvik was appointed a member of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, a non-profit organization. She previously served as a trustee and an advisor to the Robert Aqqaluk Newlin Trust. She has served in a variety of public and non-profit leadership roles including chair and member of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, member of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and as a board member of the Native American Contractors Association. She also served on board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Seattle Branch, from 2004 to 2009 and was its chair from 2008 to 2009.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)

Education:

  • BA, Kalamazoo College
  • MBA, University of Alaska Fairbanks

J. Kenneth Thompson

President and CEO, Pacific Star Energy LLC


Age: 66
Director since: 1999
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards: Pioneer Natural Resources Company (Lead Director);
Tetra Tech, Inc.;
Coeur Mining Corporation
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Business Leadership Expertise
  • Experience with Planning, Engineering, Operations, and Safety/Environmental/ Regulatory Issues
  • Business Leadership Expertise

Professional Highlights:

Since 2000, Mr. Thompson has been president and CEO of Pacific Star Energy LLC, a private energy investment company in Alaska with partial ownership in the oil exploration firm Alaska Venture Capital Group. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Thompson served as executive vice president of ARCO’s Asia Pacific oil and gas operating companies in Alaska, California, Indonesia, China and Singapore. Prior to that, he was president of ARCO Alaska, Inc., the parent company’s oil and gas producing division based in Anchorage, Alaska. He chairs the environmental, health, safety and social responsibility committee and serves on the governance and nominating and the audit committees of Coeur Mining Corporation, serves on the strategy planning committee and chairs the compensation committee at Tetra Tech, Inc., and serves on the compensation committee, chairs the governance and nominating committee, and the hydrocarbon reserves committee, as well as serving as lead director at Pioneer Natural Resources Company. Mr. Thompson is also a member and chair of CDF Capital, a non-profit organization.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)

Education:

  • BS, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Bradley D. Tilden

Chairman, President and CEO, Alaska Air Group, Inc.; Chairman and CEO, Alaska Airlines, Inc.; Chairman, Virgin America Inc. and Horizon Air Industries, Inc.


Age: 57
Director since: 2010
Independent: No
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards: Nordstrom, Inc.
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Deep Airline Experience
  • Strategic Planning Experience
  • Financial Expertise
  • Public Company CEO Experience
  • Community Leadership

Professional Highlights:

Mr. Tilden has been chairman of Alaska Air Group, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air since January 2014 and of Virgin America since December 2016. He served as president of Alaska Airlines from December 2008 to May 2016. In May 2012, Mr. Tilden was named president and CEO of Alaska Air Group and CEO of Alaska Airlines, and he was CEO of Horizon Air from May 2012 to May 2016. He served as executive vice president of finance and planning from 2002 to 2008 and as CFO from 2000 to 2008 for Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group. Prior to 2000, he was vice president of finance at Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group. Before joining Alaska Airlines, Mr. Tilden worked for the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • Airlines for America
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Washington Roundtable

Education:

  • BA, Pacific Lutheran University
  • MBA, University of Washington

 

Eric K. Yeaman

President and COO, First Hawaiian Bank


Age: 50
Director since: 2012
Independent: Yes
Board Committees:
Other Public Boards: Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.;
Hawaiian Telcom, Inc.
Qualifications:

Qualifications:

  • Financial Expertise
  • Public Company CEO Experience
  • Intimate Knowledge of the Culture and Transportation Needs of Hawaii

Professional Highlights:

Mr. Yeaman was named president and COO of First Hawaiian Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Hawaiian Inc., in June 2015. From 2008 to 2015, he was president and CEO of Hawaiian Telcom, a telecommunications and technology company serving the state of Hawaii. Prior to that, he was senior executive vice president and COO of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO). Mr. Yeaman joined Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI), HECO’s parent company, in 2003 as financial vice president, treasurer and CFO. Prior to joining HEI, Mr. Yeaman held the positions of chief operating and financial officer for Kamehameha Schools from 2000 to 2003. He began his career at Arthur Andersen LLP in 1989.

Current Non-Public Company Board Service:

  • Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America (subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group)
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation
  • Hawaii Asia Pacific Association Education:
  • BA, University of Hawaii at Manoa
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE FOR THE ELECTION OF THE 11 DIRECTOR NOMINEES NAMED ABOVE.

 

UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED ON YOUR PROXY, THE SHARES WILL BE VOTED FOR THE ELECTION OF THESE 11 NOMINEES AS DIRECTORS.

Structure of the Board of Directors

In accordance with the Delaware General Corporation Law and the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, the Company’s business affairs are managed under the direction of the Board of Directors. Directors meet their responsibilities by, among other things, participating in meetings of the Board and board committees on which they serve, discussing matters with the chairman and CEO and other executives, reviewing materials provided to them, and visiting the Company’s facilities.

Pursuant to the Bylaws, the Board of Directors has established four standing committees, which are the Audit Committee, the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee, the Governance and Nominating Committee, and the Safety Committee. Only independent directors serve on these committees. The Board has adopted a written charter for each committee. These charters are posted on and can be accessed free of charge at www.alaskaair.com.

The table below shows the current members and chairs of the standing board committees.

Board Committee Memberships

NameAudit CommitteeCompensation and Leadership Development CommitteeGovernance and Nominating CommitteeSafety Committee
Patricia M. Bedient
James A. Beer(1)
Marion C. Blakey
Phyllis J. CampbellChair
Raymond L. Conner(2)
Dhiren R. Fonseca
Susan J. Li(3)
Dennis F. Madsen
Helvi K. SandvikChair
J. Kenneth ThompsonChair
Eric K. Yeaman(4)Chair
(1) Mr. Beer was appointed to the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee and the Safety Committee in August 2017.
(2) Mr. Conner was appointed to the Safety Committee in January 2018.
(3) Ms. Li is a nominee and, if elected, will be appointed to one or more committees at a future date.
(4) Mr. Yeaman was appointed to the Governance and Nominating Committee in August 2017.

Board Committee Functions

The principal functions of the standing board committees, pursuant to their respective charters, are as follows:

Audit Committee
  • With regard to matters pertaining to the independent registered public accountants:
    • appoint them and oversee their work;

    • review at least annually a written statement regarding their internal quality-control procedures, any material issues raised by their internal quality-control review, and all relationships between the independent accountants and the Company;

    • maintain ongoing discussions as to their independence;

    • pre-approve all auditing and non-auditing services they are to perform;

    • review annual and quarterly financial statements and filings made with the SEC;

    • receive and review communications required from the independent registered public accountants under applicable rules and standards;

    • establish clear hiring policies for employees and former employees of the independent registered public accountants; and

    • review audited financial statements with management and the independent registered public accountants.

  • With regard to matters pertaining to the internal auditors:
    • review planned internal audits and their results with the internal auditors;

    • review the structure and resources of the internal audit team; and

    • review any changes to the internal audit charter.

  • With regard to matters pertaining to controls:
    • review major financial reporting risk exposure and adequacy and effectiveness of associated internal controls;

    • review procedures with respect to significant accounting policies and the adequacy of financial controls;

    • discuss with management policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management, including the process by which the Company undertakes risk assessment and risk management;

    • discuss with management, as appropriate, earnings releases and any information provided to analysts and ratings agencies;

    • develop, monitor and reassess from time to time a corporate compliance program, including a code of conduct and ethics policy, decide on requested changes to or waivers of such program and code relating to officers and directors, and establish procedures for confidential treatment of complaints concerning accounting, internal controls or auditing matters; and

    • obtain and review at least quarterly a statement from the CEO, CFO and disclosure committee members disclosing any significant deficiencies in internal controls and any fraud that involves management or other employees with significant roles in internal controls.

  • Annually review and reassess the adequacy of the Committee’s charter and performance.
Governance and Nominating Committee
  • Develop, monitor and reassess from time to time the Corporate Governance Guidelines.

  • Evaluate the size and composition of the Board.

  • Develop criteria for board membership.

  • Evaluate the independence of existing and prospective members of the Board.

  • Seek and evaluate qualified candidates for election to the Board.

  • Evaluate the nature, structure and composition of other board committees.

  • Take steps it deems necessary or appropriate with respect to annual assessments of the performance of the Board and each board committee, including itself.

  • Annually review and reassess the adequacy of the Committee’s charter and its performance.
Compensation and Leadership Development Committee
  • With regard to executive and director compensation:
    • recommend for approval by the Board changes in compensation and insurance for the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ nonemployee directors;

    • set, review and approve compensation of the CEO and other elected officers of the Company and its subsidiaries; and

    • establish the process for approving corporate goals relevant to CEO compensation and for evaluating CEO performance in light of those goals.

  • Set annual goals under the broad-based Performance-Based Pay Plan and Operational Performance Rewards Plan and administer the plans.

  • Grant stock awards and stock options.

  • Administer the supplementary retirement plans for elected officers and the equity-based incentive plans.

  • Make recommendations to the Board regarding other executive compensation issues, including modification or adoption of plans.

  • Fulfill ERISA fiduciary and non-fiduciary functions for tax-qualified retirement plans by monitoring management benefit committees, and approve the membership of those committees, trustees and trust agreements, and the extension of plan participation to employees of subsidiaries.

  • Approve the terms of employment and severance agreements with elected officers and the form of change-in-control agreements.

  • Ensure a framework, process and policies are in place for CEO and executive succession, including standards for assessment, and the periodic review of CEO and other executive-level leadership development and succession plans.

  • Administer and make recommendations to the Board of Directors with respect to the Company’s equity and other long-term incentive equity plans.

  • Administer, review and modify the Company’s policy regarding recoupment of certain compensation payments.

  • Produce the report on executive compensation required for the annual proxy statement.

  • Annually review and reassess the adequacy of the Committee’s charter and its performance.
Safety Committee
  • Monitor management’s efforts to ensure the safety of passengers and employees of the Company and its subsidiaries.

  • Monitor and assist management in creating a uniform safety culture that achieves the highest possible industry performance measures.

  • Review management’s efforts to ensure aviation security and reduce the risk of security incidents.

  • Periodically review with management and outside experts all aspects of airline safety.

  • Evaluate the Company’s health, safety and environmental policies and practices.

  • Annually review and reassess the adequacy of the Committee’s charter and its performance.

Board and Committee Meetings

In 2017, the Board of Directors held seven meetings. The standing board committees held the following number of meetings in 2017:

Audit Committee – 5
Compensation and Leadership Development Committee – 5
Governance and Nominating Committee – 4
Safety Committee – 4

Each director attended at least 75% of all board and applicable committee meetings during 2017. Each director is expected to attend the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Last year, all directors attended the annual stockholders meeting.

Director Independence

The Board of Directors of the Company has determined that all of the directors, except Mr. Tilden, and including each member of the Audit Committee, Governance and Nominating Committee, and Compensation and Leadership Development Committee, are independent under the NYSE listing standards and the Company’s independent director standards that are set forth in the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines. In making its determination, the Board considered the contributions made by the Company to charitable organizations with which any of its directors are affiliated. In this regard, the Board considered the value of charitable contributions made to an organization with which Ms. Bedient is affiliated as a member of its advisory board. After consideration of these matters and in accordance with the Board’s independent director criteria, the Board affirmatively determined that the matters did not represent material relationships with the Company because the amounts of the contributions were immaterial with respect to the Company’s and the outside organization’s annual revenues.

Each member of the Company’s Audit Committee meets the additional independence, financial literacy and experience requirements contained in the corporate governance listing standards of the NYSE relating to audit committees or as required by the SEC. The Board has determined that Ms. Bedient and Mr. Yeaman are audit committee financial experts as defined in SEC rules.

The Corporate Governance Guidelines are available on the Company’s website at www.alaskaair.com.

Specifically, the Board has determined that independent directors must have no material relationship with the Company, based on all material facts and circumstances. At a minimum, an independent director must meet each of the standards listed below.

  1. The director, within the last three years, has not been employed by and has no immediate family member that has been an executive officer of the Company.
  2. Neither the director nor any immediate family member has, in any 12-month period during the last three years, received more than $120,000 in direct compensation from the Company other than compensation for director or committee service and pension or other deferred compensation for prior service.
  3. Neither the director nor any immediate family member is a current partner of the Company’s independent accountant’s firm, the director is not a current employee of the independent accountant’s firm, no immediate family member is a current employee of the independent accountant’s firm working in its audit, assurance or tax compliance practice, and neither the director nor any immediate family member was an employee or partner of the independent accountant’s firm within the last three years and worked on the Company’s audit within that time.
  4. Neither the director nor any immediate family member has, within the last three years, been part of an interlocking directorate. This means that no executive officer of the Company served on the compensation committee of a company that employed the director or an immediate family member.
  5. The director is not currently an employee of and no immediate family member is an executive officer of another company that represented at least 2% or $1 million, whichever is greater, of the Company’s gross revenues, or of which the Company represented at least 2% or $1 million, whichever is greater, of such other company’s gross revenues in any of the last three fiscal years. Charitable contributions are excluded from this calculation.

For the purposes of these standards, “Company” includes all Alaska Air Group subsidiaries and other affiliates. “Immediate family member” includes the director’s spouse, domestic partner, parents, children, siblings, mothers- and fathers-in-law, sons- and daughters-in-law, and anyone sharing the director’s home. The independence standards for the members of the Audit Committee provide that, in addition to the foregoing standards, they may not receive any compensation other than director’s fees for board and audit committee service and permitted retirement pay, or be an “affiliate” of the Company apart from their capacity as a member of the Board as defined by applicable SEC rules.

Director Nomination Policy

Identification and Evaluation of Candidates

1. Internal Process for Identifying Candidates

The Governance and Nominating Committee (the Committee) has two primary methods for identifying candidates (other than those proposed by the Company’s stockholders, as discussed below):

  • On a periodic basis, by soliciting ideas for possible candidates from a number of sources including, but not limited to, members of the Board, senior-level Company executives, individuals personally known to the members of the Board, and research; and
  • From time to time, using its authority under its charter to retain at the Company’s expense one or more search firms to identify candidates (and to approve any such firms’ fees and other retention terms). If the Committee retains one or more search firms, those firms may be asked to identify possible candidates who meet the minimum and desired qualifications established by the Committee and to undertake such other duties as the Committee may direct.

2. Candidates Proposed by Stockholders

Stockholders who meet the qualifications outlined below may nominate up to two director candidates for inclusion in the Company’s proxy statement (see Proxy Access Right of Stockholders). Stockholders who do not meet those qualifications or do not wish to have their director nominees included in the Company’s proxy materials may nominate director candidates and file their own proxy statement to solicit proxies for the election of their director nominees at an annual meeting if they comply with the requirements outlined in the Company’s Bylaws and as generally described below under General Nomination Right of All Stockholders. For more information, see How can I submit a proposal for next year’s annual meeting? in the Questions and Answers About the Annual Meeting section of this Proxy Statement for further information about the deadlines applicable to the submission of director nominations for next year’s annual meeting of stockholders.

Stockholders who wish to propose director candidates for board consideration may do so according to the process outlined in this section under Consideration of Director Candidates Recommended by Stockholders.

The Corporate Secretary will send a copy of the Company’s Bylaws to any interested stockholder upon request. The Company’s Bylaws are also available on the Company’s website at www.alaskaair.com.

a. Proxy Access Right of Stockholders

In December 2015, the Board amended the Company’s Bylaws to provide a “proxy access” right to stockholders. Under this proxy access right, a stockholder or a group of up to 20 stockholders owning at least 3% of the Company’s shares continuously for three years may nominate directors constituting up to 20% of the Board, or two nominees, whichever is greater, for inclusion in the Company’s proxy materials. This right is subject to certain conditions, including complying with the notice, information and consent provisions contained in Article II, Section 10 of the Company’s Bylaws. The provisions generally require that written notice of a stockholder’s nomination of one or more persons for election to the Board and inclusion in the Company’s proxy materials be received by the Corporate Secretary of the Company no later than the close of business on the 120th day, and no earlier than the close of business on the 150th day, prior to the anniversary of the date the Company’s proxy statement was released to stockholders for the previous year’s annual meeting. Other specifics regarding the foregoing proxy access right, including the required content of the notice and certain other eligibility and procedural requirements, are set forth in Article II, Section 10 of the Company’s Bylaws.

b. General Nomination Right of All Stockholders

Any stockholder of the Company may nominate one or more persons for election as a director of the Company at an annual meeting of stockholders if the stockholder complies with the notice, information and consent provisions contained in Article II, Section 9 of the Company’s Bylaws. The provisions generally require that written notice of a stockholder’s intent to make a nomination for the election of directors be received by the Corporate Secretary of the Company no later than the close of business on the 90th day, and no earlier than the close of business on the 120th day, prior to the first anniversary of the prior year’s annual meeting. The written notice submitted by a stockholder must also satisfy the additional informational requirements set forth in Article II, Section 9 of the Bylaws.

c. Consideration of Director Candidates Recommended by Stockholders

The Committee will evaluate candidates recommended by a single stockholder, or group of stockholders, that have beneficially owned more than 5% of the Company’s outstanding common stock for at least one year and that satisfies the notice, information and consent provisions set forth below (such individual or group is referred to as the Qualified Stockholder).

The Committee’s policy on the evaluation of candidates recommended by stockholders who are not Qualified Stockholders is to evaluate such recommendations, and establish procedures for such evaluations, on a case-by-case basis. This policy allows the Committee to devote an appropriate amount of its own and the Company’s resources to each such recommendation, depending on the nature of the recommendation itself and any supporting materials provided. All candidates (whether identified internally or by a stockholder) who, after evaluation, are then recommended by the Committee and approved by the Board, will be included in the Company’s recommended slate of director nominees in its proxy statement.

  • Initial Consideration of Candidates Recommended by Qualified Stockholders
    The Committee will evaluate candidates recommended by Qualified Stockholders in accordance with the procedures described below.
    Qualified Stockholders may propose a candidate for evaluation by the Committee by delivering a written notice to the Committee satisfying each of the requirements described below (the Notice). The Notice must be received by the Committee not less than 120 calendar days before the anniversary of the date that the Company’s proxy statement was released to stockholders in connection with the previous year’s annual meeting. No such notice was received in connection with the 2017 Annual Meeting.
    Any candidate recommended by a Qualified Stockholder must be independent of the Qualified Stockholder in all respects (i.e., free of any material relationship of a personal, professional, financial or business nature from the nominating stockholder), as determined by the Committee or by applicable law. Any candidate submitted by a Qualified Stockholder must also meet the definition of an “independent director” under applicable NYSE rules. The Notice shall also contain or be accompanied by the information or documentation described below.

    • Proof of stock ownership (including the required holding period) of the stockholder or group of stockholders is required. The Committee may determine whether the required stock ownership condition has been satisfied for any stockholder that is the stockholder of record. Any stockholder that is not the stockholder of record must submit such evidence as the Committee deems reasonable to evidence the required ownership percentage and holding period.
    • A written statement that the stockholder intends to continue to own the required percentage of shares through the date of the annual meeting with respect to which the candidate is nominated is required.
    • The name or names of each stockholder submitting the proposal, the name of the candidate, and the written consent of each such stockholder and the candidate to be publicly identified is required.
    • Regarding the candidate, such person’s name, age, business and residence address, principal occupation or employment, number of shares of the Company’s stock beneficially owned, if any, a written resume or curriculum vitae of personal and professional experiences, and all other information relating to the candidate that would be required to be disclosed in a proxy statement or other filings required in connection with the solicitation of proxies for election of directors pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the regulations promulgated thereunder (the “Exchange Act”) shall be provided.
    • Regarding the candidate, information, documents or affidavits demonstrating to what extent the candidate meets the required minimum criteria, and the desirable qualities or skills established by the Committee shall be provided. The Notice must also include a written statement that the stockholder submitting the proposal and the candidate will make available to the Committee all information reasonably requested in furtherance of the Committee’s evaluation of the candidate.
    • Regarding the stockholder submitting the proposal, the person’s business address and contact information and any other information that would be required to be disclosed in a proxy statement or other filings required in connection with the solicitation of proxies for election of directors pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act is required.
    • The signature of each candidate and of each stockholder submitting the proposal is required.

The Notice shall be delivered in writing by registered or certified first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the following address:

Board of Directors
Alaska Air Group, Inc.
PO Box 68947
Seattle, WA 98168

The Corporate Secretary will promptly forward the Notice to the Lead Director and to the Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee.

If, based on the Committee’s initial screening of a candidate recommended by a Qualified Stockholder, a candidate continues to be of interest to the Committee, the Chair of the Committee will request that the CEO interview the candidate, and the candidate will be interviewed by one or more of the other Committee members. If the results of these interviews are favorable, the candidate recommended by a Qualified Stockholder will be evaluated as set forth below. Except as may be required by applicable law, rule or regulation, the Committee will have no obligation to discuss the outcome of the evaluation process or the reasons for the Committee’s recommendations with any Qualified Stockholder who made a proposal.

3. Evaluation of Candidates

As to each recommended candidate that the Committee believes merits consideration, the Committee will cause to be assembled information concerning the background, qualifications and appropriate references of the candidate, including information concerning the candidate required to be disclosed in the Company’s proxy statement under the rules of the SEC and any relationship between the candidate and the person or persons recommending the candidate. The Committee will then (i) determine if the candidate satisfies the qualifications set forth below under the caption Policy on Minimum Qualifications for All Directors; (ii) conduct interviews with the candidate as it deems necessary and appropriate; and (iii) consider the contribution that the candidate can be expected to make to the overall functioning of the Board. The Committee will then meet to consider and finalize its list of recommended candidates for the Board’s consideration.

The Governance and Nominating Committee will consider incumbent candidates based on the same criteria used for candidates recommended by Qualified Stockholders, provided that incumbents will also be considered on the basis of the Committee’s annual evaluations of the effectiveness of the Board, its committees and their members.

Policy on Minimum Qualifications for All Directors

While there is no formal list of qualifications, the Governance and Nominating Committee considers, among other things, the prospective nominee’s relevant experience, intelligence, independence, commitment, ability to work with the CEO and within the Board culture, prominence, diversity, and age. The Governance and Nominating Committee may also consider a nominee’s CEO experience, senior-level international experience, senior-level regulatory or legal experience, and relevant senior-level expertise in one or more of the following areas: finance, accounting, sales and marketing, safety, organizational development, information technology, and government and public relations. Different substantive areas may assume greater or lesser significance at particular times, in light of the Board’s present composition and the Committee’s (or the Board’s) perceptions about future issues and needs.

For a candidate to serve as an independent director, an independent and questioning mindset is critical. The Committee also considers a prospective candidate’s workload and whether he or she would be able to attend the vast majority of Board meetings, be willing and available to serve on Board committees, and be able to devote the additional time and effort necessary to keep up with Board matters and the rapidly changing environment in which the Company operates.

Board diversity is considered broadly, not merely with regard to race, gender, or national origin, but also with regard to general background, geographical location, and other factors. The consideration of diversity is implemented through discussions at the Governance and Nominating Committee. In addition, on an annual basis, as part of the Board’s self-evaluation, the Board assesses whether the mix and diversity of board members is appropriate for the Company.

Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions

Policies and Procedures for Approval of Related Person Transactions

The Board of Directors has adopted a written policy for review, approval or ratification of any transaction, arrangement or relationship in which the Company was, is or will be a participant, the aggregate amount involved exceeds $120,000 in any calendar year, and a related person has or will have a direct or indirect material interest (other than solely as a result of being a director or the beneficial owner of less than 10% of another entity). For purposes of the policy, a related person is any person who is, or at any time since the beginning of the last fiscal year was, (i) one of the directors or executive officers or a nominee to become a director; or (ii) any beneficial owner of more than 5% of the Company’s common stock, or any immediate family member of any of these persons.

Under the policy, once such a transaction by a related person has been identified, the Audit Committee (or, for transactions that involve less than $1 million in the aggregate, the chair of the Audit Committee) must review the transaction for approval or ratification. Members of the Audit Committee or the chair of the Audit Committee, as applicable, will review all relevant facts regarding the transaction in determining whether to approve or ratify it, including the extent of the related person’s interest in the transaction, whether the terms are comparable to those generally available in arm’s-length transactions, and whether the transaction is consistent with the best interests of the Company. The related person involved in the transaction will not participate in the approval or ratification process except to provide additional information as requested for the review. Once initially approved or ratified, all transactions with related persons will be reviewed at least annually.

The policy does not require review or approval of the following transactions: employment by the Company of an executive officer unless he or she is an immediate family member of another related person; any compensation paid by the Company to a director; and a transaction in which a related person’s interest arises solely from the ownership of equity securities and all holders of the securities receive the same benefit on a pro-rata basis.

Certain Transactions with Related Persons

The Company and its subsidiaries have transactions in the ordinary course of business with other corporations of which the Company’s executive officers or directors or members of their immediate families are directors, executive officers, or stockholders. The amounts involved in these transactions are below the disclosure thresholds set by the SEC, or the executive officer or director or his or her family member does not have a direct or indirect material interest, as that term is used in SEC rules, in the transaction. Since January 1, 2017, the Company has not had any transactions required to be disclosed pursuant to 17 CFR Section 229.404.

2017 Director Compensation

The following table presents information regarding the compensation paid for 2017 to members of the Board of Directors who are not also the Company’s employees (non-employee directors). The compensation paid to Mr. Tilden, who is also an employee, is presented in the Summary Compensation Table and the related explanatory tables. Mr. Tilden does not receive additional compensation for his service as a director.

(1) Directors received an annual cash retainer of $60,000 and an annual stock retainer valued at $90,000. In addition, the compensation for non-employee directors included the following:
  • an annual retainer of $20,000 to the Lead Director;
  • an annual retainer of $18,000 to the Audit Committee chair, $10,000 each to the Compensation and Leadership Development and Safety Committee chairs and $8,000 to the Governance and Nominating and Committee chair; and
  • reimbursement of expenses in connection with attending board and committee meetings as well as expenses in connection with director education.
Following a market review in late 2017, effective May 3, 2018, the directors’ annual stock retainers will increase to $100,000, the annual cash retainers will increase to $75,000, and each of the following committee chair retainers will be increased to the following amounts: Lead Director – $27,500; Audit Committee – $25,000; Compensation and Leadership Development Committee – $20,000; and Governance and Nominating and Safety Committees – $15,000.
(2) Under the terms of the Company’s Stock Deferral Plan for Non-Employee Directors each board member may elect in the prior year to receive his or her annual stock retainer in the form of fully vested shares at the time of grant or to defer payment of all or a portion of the award until his or her termination of service on the Board. If no election is made the year prior to payment, common stock is issued.
In 2017, Ms. Sandvik was granted 1,014 deferred stock units (DSUs), based on her election to defer made in 2016. Ms. Bedient, Ms. Blakey, Ms. Campbell, Mr. Fonseca, Mr. Knight, Mr. Madsen, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Yeaman were each issued 1,014 shares of Alaska Air Group common stock. Mr. Beer was issued a prorated stock retainer of 794 common shares in August 2017. See discussion of these awards in Note 11 (Stock-Based Compensation Plans) to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements included as part of the Company’s 2017 Annual Report filed on Form 10-K with the SEC and incorporated herein by reference. The non-employee directors do not hold any outstanding stock options.
Alaska Air Group directors do not participate in any non-equity incentive compensation plans, nor do they participate in a nonqualified deferred compensation plan. Directors do not receive pension benefits for their service.
(3) As part of each director’s compensation, the non-employee director and the non-employee director’s spouse and eligible dependents were provided transportation on Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air. Included in the All Other Compensation column for each non-employee director is the incremental cost to the Company of providing the benefit. Positive-space travel is a benefit unique to the airline industry. By providing this travel without tax consequences to non-employee directors, the Company is able to deliver a highly valued benefit at a low cost, and believes this benefit encourages non-employee directors to travel, thus enhancing their connection to the Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air products and services. The All Other Compensation column (g) includes the value of reimbursements for taxes on the transportation benefits provided to each director.

Director Stock Ownership Policy

The Company expects directors to act in the Company’s best interests regardless of the number of shares they own. Each non-employee director is expected to hold shares of Company stock having a value equal to at least three times the director’s annual cash retainer, such ownership to be achieved within five years of joining the Board. Deferred stock units held by directors, which are 100% vested at grant, will count toward the holding requirement even though they will not be issued until the director resigns from the Board.

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