March 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM ET
In an era of executive excess, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne made headlines, earlier this month, when it was reported he took no compensation for his work at the U.S. automaker last year. That was all the more impressive compared to the news, that same day, that Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally had received $58.3 million in stock alone for 2011.
But for those wondering how deeply Marchionne might have to dig into his pockets to cover the reported $3.5 million home he recently purchased in the Detroit suburbs there’s no reason to worry. While he didn’t get money from Chrysler he did more than okay wearing his other hat, as CEO of the U.S. maker’s Italian partner Fiat.
In all, Marchionne took home 14.5 million Euros, or $18.9 million, last year, including $3.2 million in salary and another $15.69 million in stock that vested last year. Major companies like Ford and Fiat like to use stock as an incentive, the argument being that with enough shares an executive like Marchionne or Mulally will be motivated to maximize investor value.
(Unlike General Motors, which also went through bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler has yet to take itself public again. As TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, Marchionne is indefinitely delaying the long-discussed Chrysler IPO and suggested there might not be one at all. Click Here for that story.)
Until it paid off its remaining government loans last year, was been subject to a stipulation in its federal bailout that limited what upper management could earn, senior pay being subject to approval by a government overseer. With a third of its stock still owned by the U.S. Treasury, GM officials remain subject to that restriction.
Marchionne declined to take either salary or bonus from Chrysler in both 2010 and 2011. He became CEO of the U.S. maker when Fiat effectively took control of Chrysler following its emergence from Chapter 11 protection. Fiat’s stake in Chrysler has steadily grown – from an initial 20% to the current 58.5%. Federal filings indicate the goal is to boost that to 70% or more over the next several years.