US: Ford CEO still on the private jets
Ford chief executive Alan Mulally may have taken a 37% 'compensation' cut to a mere US$13.6m last year - with no bonus - but private jet transport and a company-funded house are still on the agenda.
Mulally has agreed a 30% cut in his $2m salary this year and next and remains required to fly on private aircraft for personal and business travel due to security concerns, according to a preliminary proxy filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission cited by Reuters.
Ford, which is seeking to sell its corporate jets, will continue to pay charter costs for Mulally's use of private aircraft - it valued the CEO's compensation for personal use of company and private aircraft in 2008 at $344,109, less than half the $752,203 the previous year.
Mulally's family will also be allowed to accompany him on on trips when he flies on private aircraft and the company will pay the cost of economy class commercial flights for his family when the travel is at his request.
Mulally has also been granted the right to remain in temporary housing near Ford's headquarters indefinitely and would receive relocation assistance if he chose to move his household [from Seattle where he was based as the former chief of aircraft maker Boeing], the proxy statement said.
Ford said last December it would sell its five corporate aircraft - the subject of much controversy after all three 'Big Three' CEOs each used a private jet to last November's first auto industry bailout hearing on Capitol Hill, and earlier, when media learned that senior executive Mark Fields was using a private jet to commute weekly to Dearborn from his home in Florida. He subaequently switched to scheduled airline service.
Reuters noted that Ford has eliminated performance bonuses for global salaried employees and senior executives for 2009 in a "shared sacrifice" with unionised hourly workers who agreed to mid-contract concessions on overtime, holidays and other areas, changes that Ford has said push its hourly labour costs closer to parity with the US operations of Japanese rivals.