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New Ford CEO to get $18.5 mln payout

New Ford CEO to get $18.5 mln payout

Ford Motor Co said it would pay Alan Mulally $18.5 million to join the troubled automaker as its new CEO.

Detroit: Ford Motor Co said on Friday it would pay veteran aerospace executive Alan Mulally $18.5 million to join the troubled automaker as its new chief executive in addition to an annual salary of $2 million.

The one-time payments include a hiring bonus of $7.5 million and $11 million to offset the compensation Mulally gave up for ending his tenure as head of Boeing Co's profitable commercial plane division, Ford said in a filing with the US.

Securities and Exchange Commission. Mulally, 61, was also granted stock options worth about $10.5 million and $5.26 million in restricted stock grants, according to details provided by Ford.

A clause in Mulally's contract also entitles him to a payment of $11 million if Ford undergoes a change in control or he is let go for any reason other than "cause" before 2011, Ford said in its regulatory filing.

Ford has also agreed to waive the vesting requirement on Mulally's stock options and restricted stock grants in such a case. The SEC filing did not specify what would constitute a cause for termination under the contract.

At Ford, Mulally will be paid a base salary of $2 million per year. For the remainder of 2006, that works out to a salary of about $650,000, the company said.

The details of the compensation package follow Ford's surprise move to name Mulally to replace Bill Ford Jr. as CEO of the number two US automaker. The change in leadership comes as Ford is struggling to reverse mounting losses and dwindling US market share.

At Boeing, Mulally was among the top paid executives in 2005 with a package of about $9.96 million. That included a $7.58 million long-term incentive payout in addition to his $825,000 salary, a $736,300 annual bonus, plus restricted stock awards and other benefits.

By comparison, General Motors Corp Chief Executive Rick Wagoner made $5.5 million in 2005, which included a salary of $2.2 million and stock options worth about $2.9 million, according to regulatory filings.

Bill Ford, whose great grandfather founded the company 103 years ago, was not paid a salary since taking over as chief executive in 2001. He was granted total compensation, including stock options and stock grants of $13.3 million in 2005.

Ford, who will stay on as executive chairman, has agreed to forego any further compensation until the company's auto operations return make sustained profits, spokeswoman Becky Sanch said. Sanch said Mulally's compensation package was based on the "competitive environment for world-class talent."

"The (compensation committee of Ford's board) believes the package is fair and reasonable given his qualifications and the magnitude of the position, she said.

first published:September 09, 2006, 16:11 IST