Stock Value Tanks, Get Fired . . . Get $57 Million

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Ford’s former CEO, Mark Fields, got fired the other day after a year of free-falling Ford stock prices – down almost 40 percent.

He walks away with about $57.5 million in compensation.

The largest portion of the ex-CEO’s payout is in unvested stock awards, valued at $29.4 million as of Wednesday’s close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Those will vest through 2020, with the majority tied to performance goals. Fields also is entitled to about $17.5 million in retirement benefits, plus stock options worth $8.1 million and an estimated prorated incentive bonus of about $2.1 million.

Fields agreed to resign May 19 after the board lost confidence in his ability to embrace the rapidly changing nature of transportation while managing through a declining U.S. auto market. He was replaced by Jim Hackett, the former CEO of office-furniture maker Steelcase Inc., who was leading Ford’s foray into self-driving cars and ride sharing. Despite Ford’s stock slide during Fields’s nearly three years as CEO, the automaker earned record profits.

“I’m very thankful to Mark and he had a really terrific career here, but this is a time of unprecedented change,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford said Monday at a press conference introducing Hackett as the new CEO. “A time of great change, in my mind, requires a transformational leader and thankfully we have that in Jim.”

Fields, 56, will retain “reasonable use” of Ford’s corporate aircraft until Aug. 1, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company said in a filing Wednesday. He is also eligible for an annual bonus, pro-rated from January to August, and will retain the equity awards granted under this year’s long-term incentive plan.



  1. What’s amazing about all this these are the same companies who do everything they can to see their actual employees who design and create the products they make are paid as little as possible. I understand keeping costs as low as possible. The previous CEO couldn’t produce, regardless if he was a victim of a distressed market so they reward hell out of him, find another pretty boy whose business didn’t drop last year and pay him ridiculous money before they even know if he can make heads or tails of it. Of course, the CEO merely arranges his managers, the very reason they change knowing the first thing a new one will do is make a lot of heads roll and do away with positions. He can fire people all day every day for some time before he makes up for his own inflated salary.

    But this is a really good thing the board says, he plans to cut costs and increase productivity. And the old Sage says “We’ll see”.

    • Things like this make me think if you’re compensation is over $500,000 a year, maybe the balance over that should be taxed at 90%.

      • Todd, before JFK took office, any salary over $400K attracted 90% tax. Result: no execs were paid over $400K. JFK dropped the tax rate to 60% and exec salaries started rising faster than inflation. When Reagan dropped the tax to 35%, the salaries rose ASTRONOMICALLY, as into outer space. Where they still continue to rise.

        • They get around salary taxation with stock options. That way the CEO is motivated to juice the stock value at the expense of the employees and the long term health of the company. The government interference just makes it worse.

          The real issue with CEO pay is the corporate-club. They are all on each other’s corporate boards and thus scratch each other’s back with compensation.

          • I would say things like stock options would be considered compensation and taxed. I realize none of this will happen. Someday soon these giant corporations will implode.

    • Indeed Eight. When an engineer makes millions of dollars for a company he is told ‘that’s your job’ and his reward is not being fired. Unless of course they still want to fire him. But we’re supposed to wonder why smart american kids don’t become engineers. Gee I wonder why? Better to make a company millions in some sort of financial job where that would earn a bonus in the five or six figure range.

      • BrentP, not to worry much longer. A couple years ago a list was compiled of all engineering degrees and other “hard” sciences. The SE was pitiful and some major colleges(huge football and BBall programs)had 0 degrees in many of the sciences. The entire US had only a few “physics” degrees. OTOH, business degrees were replete.

        So, maybe every product will be designed by Asians and Indians but we’ll have plenty flim flam guys and gals ready to market it. Hot dog, can’t wait for the new snippet.

        • What is SE?

          Engineering and science programs at universities are alive and well, lots of foreign students however.

          • SE, southeast. The article pointed out in particular how large universities with physics and atomics programs had not a single graduate with those degrees while business schools were replete with students and degrees.

            I had a cousin who graduated in the 60’s with a major in physics and a minor in atomic physics….suma cum laude. The best job he could find was with Lockheed and never really made any money commiserate to what he should have.

            He worked in the skunk works for decades. I’d ask him what he was working on when I’d see him. He’d just shrug and turn his hands up. In this century a couple times he sent me a lot of pics and technical data of a still classified project only because it was about to be made public at some unspecified date because the Russians already had the low down. I wondered out loud what with all the secrecy and only a few people having access or supposed to have access to the secret programs how they were leaked. He didn’t venture any specific thing but somebody was obviously getting a good cash retirement or something. Probably, it was the customer that let the cat out of the bag since that was mainly the US military.

  2. We have to produce cars in Mexico because labor is cheaper but we can pay this schmuck $58Million to go away. Makes sense.

    What do these people even do? How is it that there is any need for Exectutives?

    • Hi RK,

      One of these days, I’ll tell you guys about the time I was offered a chance to become an extremely well-paid whore but didn’t take it. Not because I am a superior person. I am just someone who isn’t a complete soul-less asshole who will do whatever it takes to make a buck.

      • Is the soulless whore position still open? Most of my exes would perfectly fit that job description and I would happily recommend them for a percentage. At this point, I might even fit the bill. Decades of being the good – (see stupid) American, honest, hard working and trust worthy has rendered me quite jaded as I witnessed the “successes” of others with the handicaps I was instilled with. I have been schooled and am willing to put those lessons to use!

      • I was never offered. I think I got sorted out while still in college as not suitable material. That was long before I learned what the game even is.


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