Frequent flying?

August 2, 2006

Last week, Starwood Hotels (HOT) announced that it had hired Disney (DIS) veteran Matt Ouimet, who was most recently in charge of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, to oversee Starwood’s global hotel operations. Yesterday, Starwood filed Ouimet’s employment contract and while much of it was pretty standard — $700K salary, bonus, and sign-on equity in the form of restricted stock worth $705K — the item under "other benefits" was not.

For the first 12 months of Ouimet’s employment, Starwood will reimburse Ouimet up to $1.5 million in airfare. In the contract, Starwood says it is offering the free airfare "in order to make it as convenient and un-burdensome as possible to perform your duties" because the executive plans to remain in Anaheim through the end of the upcoming school year, despite the fact that Starwood (and Ouimet’s new office) is based in White Plains, NY. There’s also a gross-up to cover the cost of the cross-country travel. The contract also notes that the trips can be on commercial or chartered planes. Luckily, Jet Blue’s (JBLU) $139 a pop cross-country tickets remain on sale through tomorrow!

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