The former chief executive, who guided American through its bankruptcy reorganization, stepped down as chairman of American's board on Tuesday. Horton's last day was determined as part of the restructuring plan as the carrier merged with US Airways.
According to a recent Securities & Exchange Commission filing, Horton received more than $19 million in executive compensation last year which included an $11.9 million cash severance payment.
During his tenure, Horton decided to downsize the airline's maintenance operations by closing its Alliance maintenance base and trimmed its labor costs by 17 percent. He also renegotiated American's debt and aircraft financing, getting favorable terms for the airline with Boeing and Airbus as part of the carrier's 400-plus plane order.
And for the first time in almost 40 years, he unveiled a new livery and logo for American, changing the traditional AA logo with an eagle for an American flag tail design.
Horton first joined American in 1985 in the finance department and was named chief financial officer in 2000 negotiating the purchase of TWA. He left American in 2002 to take the top finance spot at AT&T and worked through the telecommunications firm's merger with SBC Communications. He returned to American in 2006 and was named chief execuive on November 29, 2011, the day American filed for bankruptcy.