Ford Resists Pressure to Cut CEO Compensation & Use of Corporate Jets -- No problem Sir, and don't bother applying for an undeserved taxpayer bailout
From The Wall Street Journal:
Ford Motor Co. is so far resisting pressure to cut the salary of its chief executive despite increasing scrutiny of top management at all three Detroit auto makers seeking emergency help from the federal government.
Ford, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have asked Congress to make $25 billion in loans available to shore up their finances and keep them going through a deep trough in auto sales. Congress has said the companies will have to accept limits on executive compensation as part of any bail-out program.
Mr. Mulally was asked last week by members of Congress whether he'd cut his $2 million salary to $1. Mr. Mulally demurred, saying, "I think I'm ok where I am." His total compensation in 2007 was $21.67 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In the same year, Ford posted a loss of $2.72 billion.
Testifying before a House Committee, GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner also brushed back a request to trim his salary to almost nothing, saying "I don't have a position on that today." His 2007 compensation package totaled $15.7 million. GM reported a loss of $38.7 billion last year.
The three CEOs also come under fire from Congress and the target of late-night comic jokes for flying in private jets to ask for a taxpayer bail-out. Earlier this week GM and Ford said they are giving up some of the corporate jets they've been using.
Ford wouldn't say if Mr. Mulally was reducing use of the company's corporate jets, or if he or his family is using the aircraft to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, citing safety concerns. Mr. Mulally's contract allows him to use Ford's corporate jets for personal travel. Another top Ford executive who was allowed the same kind of privileges drew a wave of negative media reports and eventually gave up the perk.
Despite the pressure, Ford has so far failed to yield on the issue of top executive compensation beyond a companywide cut to white-collar employee bonuses announced earlier this month. It also comes as voices in Congress and the Bush Administration have pressured organized labor to make its own concessions in wages and benefits to help keep the auto makers afloat.