American Express Co.'s chief executive, Kenneth I. Chenault, received total compensation of $17.4 million in 2009 as the company grappled with fragile credit markets and the quality of its card loans, and repaid federal aid.

The amount included a base salary of $1.2 million, a cash bonus of $5.1 million and $5.33 million in cash payments arising from Amex's nonequity incentive compensation, it said in a proxy filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Chenault made $28.8 million in 2008 and $33.9 million in 2007, the filing said.

As part of the $17.4 million, Chenault received no stock award and nearly $4 million in options, substantially lower than the $9.5 million stock award and $9.8 million of options he got in 2008.

In January, Amex said Chenault would get, effective Feb. 1, a base salary of $2 million. This pay increase marked a shift in the compensation mix, which boosted base salary while reducing the cash bonus component of total compensation, Amex said then.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.