Skift Take

In the CEO game, it's pay for performance and Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston was well-rewarded. But it's also a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately position and 2015 appears as though it could be a rockier ride than the prior year.

The Priceline Group board liked the job that CEO Darren Huston, who doubles as CEO, was doing as the board handed Huston a $7 million bonus in 2014 plus a $14 million stock award, bringing his total compensation for the year to nearly $22 million.

Or $21,966,094 to be precise, according to a financial filing.

That’s for Huston’s maiden year as head of the mother ship, which includes, Agoda,, Kayak,, and OpenTable.

By comparison, then-CEO Jeffery Boyd earned $15.05 million the previous year, 2013, including getting a $6.5 million bonus and an $8 million stock award. Unlike Huston, though, Boyd didn’t moonlight as CEO of

In 2013, Huston, who was CEO of the Priceline Group’s strongest unit,, earned nearly $17.9 million in total compensation, including a $5.25 million bonus and a stock award of nearly $12 million. That was a higher salary than Boyd’s for 2013.

So Huston’s nearly $22 million compensation in 2014 as CEO of the Priceline Group and CEO of represented a 22.8 percent raise over his 2013 compensation as CEO of

Huston received the bonus, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, because of the company’s “industry-leading performance” and “over-achievement.”

“From an operating and financial perspective, 2014 was another very good year,” the company stated. “The Company grew its gross travel bookings by 28.4% year-over-year and increased its adjusted EBITDA by 29.2% year-over-year, growing its earnings faster than other leading global online travel companies.

“The Company also maintained its position as the largest online accommodation reservation company in the world based on room night reservations booked.”

Some of the Priceline Group’s main competitors, including Expedia Inc. and TripAdvisor, have yet to release their CEO compensation totals for 2014 but likely will do so in the next week or so.

TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer blew away the field and was the highest paid online travel  company CEO in 2013 with total compensation of $39 million.

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Tags: ceo pay, priceline

Photo credit: Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston at a World Travel and Tourism Council confab in Madrid on April 15, 2015. WTTC / World Travel and Tourism Council

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