Facing bankruptcy, Pinnacle executives get big pay raise - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Facing bankruptcy, Pinnacle execs get big pay raise

(WMC-TV) – Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines is struggling to prevent bankruptcy, but as part of that effort two of the company's leaders are getting big raises.

Pinnacle Airlines operates feeder flights for Delta, United and U.S. Airways and just last summer relocated its headquarters to downtown Memphis.

Now, they've announced efforts to save the company.

Pinnacle's CFO plans to leave the company soon and officials say that means two of its other top executives are going to have more responsibilities.

"Pinnacle's multifaceted restructuring activities along with the pending departure of the company's CFO have significantly increased Mr. Menke's responsibilities."

CEO Sean Menke will see his pay increase from $250,000 a year to $650,000. COO John Spanjers will see his salary rise from $125,000 to $400,000 a year.

"These guys are working very hard, and again, the company is on the brink of something very serious and to stay with the company in times like these really takes commitment," said Lee Harris.

And in return, the company is showing its commitment to them, Harris said.

He watches business trends as a University of Memphis law professor and last fall became the newest member of the Memphis City Council.

"High salaries always kind of rankles (people), but we want to keep these folks in place," he said.

Harris said the company has made a big commitment to Memphis and the hope is that restructuring efforts pay off.

"If we can get Pinnacle Airlines through these challenges and back to viability, it would mean so much to this city and in particular Downtown," he said.

Pinnacle is making moves in hopes of saving itself from deeper problems and bigger debt.

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