Image: Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford speaks during the unveiling ceremony of the new 2011 Ford Explorer in Chicago
JOHN GRESS  /  Reuters
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford and the great-grandson of company founder will earn a $4 million salary, plus options.
updated 8/6/2010 3:57:20 PM ET 2010-08-06T19:57:20

After a five-year wage freeze, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. is getting paid again.

It's another sign that the automaker founded by his great-grandfather Henry Ford is healthy enough to award its top executives generous pay packages. The company recently said it earned $2.6 billion in the second quarter, its fifth-straight quarterly profit.

Bill Ford will be paid $4 million in salary and in stock options with a current value of $11 million to $12 million. The total represents pay he has earned over the last two years.

"The ongoing success of Ford Motor Company is my life's work and I am fully confident we are on track for sustained profitable growth through our commitment to building great products, a strong business and a better world," Bill Ford said in an e-mail to employees obtained by The Associated Press.

In 2005, when Bill Ford was chairman and chief executive, he stopped taking a salary or bonus as the automaker floundered and racked up record losses. The following year, he stepped aside as chief executive and hired former Boeing Co. CEO Alan Mulally for the job. Mulally has been widely credited with streamlining the company and turning its operations around.

In 2008, Ford's compensation committee ruled that Bill Ford could be paid from the beginning of 2008 on once the company's automotive operations returned to profitability. The committee recently decided those conditions have been met. Ford made $2.7 billion in 2009, its first annual profit in four years.

Mulally made $17.9 million in 2009, about 1 percent more than the prior year. Most of that total was in stock options; his salary was $1.4 million. Mulally took a 30 percent salary cut in 2008 that remains in effect.

Mulally's salary has been a sticking point for some of the company's factory workers, who cited his pay when they rejected a new round of wage concessions last October.

In a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bill Ford also said he is selling $28 million worth of shares. In the e-mail to employees, Ford said he is selling the stock to pay off personal loans he took out in recent years to purchase Ford shares.

He also said he is donating $1 million to a college scholarship fund for employees' children.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Obama ‘confident’ in avoiding new recession

  1. Closed captioning of: Obama ‘confident’ in avoiding new recession

    >>> today president obama is trying to prove to voters once again that the economy is making a turnaround, this with all eyes on the latest unemployment report out this morning. nbc's savannah guthrie is at the white house with details on this. savannah, good morning to you.

    >> reporter: matt, we'll hear from the president later today on those jobs figures. unemployment proving to be the most stubborn economic and political problem he faces. bracing for the latest jobs report, the president was out accentuating the positive. on thursday in chicago saying a turnaround in the american car industry is just the beginning.

    >> i'm convinced we're going to rebuild not only the auto industry but the economy better and stronger than before. and at its heart is going to be three powerful words, made in america. made in america.

    >> reporter: in an exclusive interview with cnbc's phil lebeau, the president said the economy will likely not slide back into recession.

    >> i think confidence is starting to come back and you're going to see more of that money put to work hiring american workers. so i think we're on the brink of now moving into a better direction.

    >> confident we're going to avoid a double dip recession?

    >> i am confident about that.

    >> reporter: consumers, normally two-thirds of the economy, have yet to demonstrate that confidence pulling back on spending again. the economy is growing but slowly. and even many businesses making profits are too nervous to hire.

    >> it's like a chicken and egg situation where spending and jobs go hand-in-hand. they only come with confidence and that is still going to take a bit more time for this economy.

    >> reporter: unemployment is the issue dogging democrats in the upcoming congressional races, fearing major losses the president is in campaign overdrive. at three fund-raisers thursday, sticking with the car theme to suggest republicans want to take the country backwards.

    >> when you want to go forward, what do you put the car in? "d." when you want to go backwards, what do you do? you put it in "r."

    >> reporter: well, one other note from here, christina romer, chief of economic advisers here at the white house , has announced she is leaving. she's going back to the university of california at berkeley where, among other things, she had been an expert on the great depression, matt.

    >> all right, savannah guthrie at the white house for us this morning. savannah, thanks very


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