In May of 2005, Ford Motor Company head Bill Ford (great-grandson of founder Henry Ford) announced that he would not take a paycheck until the company reached what he referred to as “sustainable profitability”. It was a very open ended comment and I think that most people shrugged it off and forgot about it but based on a report by the Detroit News, Mr. Ford went over 5 years without receiving any compensation from the company. However, details were released in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Bill Ford would be receiving a $4 million paycheck with an addition $12 million in company stock options.
This amount is deemed to be what he would have earned from January 2008 to now and this decision came due to the fact that Ford has shown profits in four-straight quarters, capped by a $2.7 billion profit in 2009. Mr. Ford not only declined compensation during the last five years, but in 2004 he purchased some $28 million worth of company stock to show his confidence in the company and now that he is receiving payment in arrears, Mr. Ford is repaying on the loans taken to buy that huge chunk of stock.
A great many people in the Detroit area like to point the finger at company execs when times get tough but Bill Ford’s commitment to the company that bears his name may have been one of the major reasons Ford Motor Company has been the strongest of the Big 3 over the recent trouble times for automakers. When Ford Motor Company needed to cut labor expenses, Ford took the reins and sacrificed for the good of the company.
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