• Feb 29th 2008 at 8:02AM
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Ford Chairman Bill Ford hasn't been compensated for working at his great grandfather's company since May 2005, and he doesn't intend to cash in until the Blue Oval makes a sustained profit. Ford's board of directors decided that nearly three years was too long to work pro bono and tried to pay the Ford family scion, but the chairman again refused to reneg on his pay-free pledge. Mr. Ford has, however, agreed to receive payment retroactive to 2008 once the Dearborn, MI automaker achieves a full year of profitability.

It's impressive that Blue Oval Bill has foregone between $25 million and $33 million in salary over the past few years, but Henry Ford's sweat and guile made him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams before he was even born. Those of us living in Michigan would be far more impressed if Bill pledged to give up the Detroit Lions if the automaker misses its target to regain profitability in 2009.
[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      So he may not be taking a salary, but as others have speculated, there's likely some other "compensation" involved.

      And what of the millions of $$ for bonuses this year? I understand the employee morale thing and all, but come on.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is great spirit, and I have a tip for him: bring Euro Focus to America ASAP (and Mondeo, and some of them Holdens too, while you are at it)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Holden is owned by GM and GM is a competitor for Ford. So, how can Ford bring over Holdens?
      • 7 Years Ago
      When one reviews the recent history of CEO's and other corporate "leaders" who have managed to lose millions or billions for their companies, shareholders, and employees - while taking home millions in compensation, it is refreshing to see a Chairman do the right thing. Lets give the guy credit. He doesn't have to do this, and even though it is the right thing to do, a lot of people wouldn't.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the opportune question isn't "is he being paid a salary" but instead "is he compensated in any way, shape or form, at all". It's quite common for executives to recieve no direct salary, but instead to see compensation through perks, options, bonuses and dividends.

      It's also worth noting that he's not exactly hurting for cash on a personal level.

      Now, that being said, I think it's an impressive gesture. I'd like to see the heads of Ford Product Planning and Marketing departments make the same commitment, because those fellows are directly responsible for every screwup in the last five years.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Finally, someone who understand that marketing is a major contributor to the problem! I think many people beleive marketing is just advertising but it is also market research and they are the bridge between customer and company.

        I think the addition of Farley is the best addition made by any automaker in years. It is a much better addition than Jim Press at Chrysler or even Lutz at GM because he has proven to know how to get cars people want to market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure he gets compensated in other ways. Most CEOs who take the $1 salary get stock options worth tens of millions that they cash out of, along with paid car, jet, hotels, etc. It's not like he's moving into a cardboard box on the side of the road any time soon.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually, you'd be pretty suprised at the amount of stupidy that surfaces around these pages when it comes to discussions about Ford or any other domestic brand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can we shut up about the Euro focus already? No one will pay $30,000 (US) for an economy car. Ford is trying to get it over hear, but will not do so until it can be economical. Displacing the existing focus (an extremely practical car) would displace the entry level customers, causing considerable harm to their sales. Yes, the Verve might be able to pull that off. We'll see.

      It'd make a lot more sense to whine about them discontinuing the Contour. That was a Euro car that should have done much better than it did.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Then why do the Russians get the Euro Ford Focus?
          • 7 Years Ago

          That's very interesting. Thank you.

          I see the Russians pay in the low $20's for a Focus. Certainly better than $30K. I suspect the labor is a bit less expensive at the Russian plant (not to mention emissions and safety requirements).

          Assuming it can come stateside for the same price, it's priced alongside a Fusion. I still contend that Ford would need a new entry level car before introducing the Euro Focus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a load of horse crap... he's not getting "salary" but the company is his after all so it's not like he's not getting money for his efforts. Ohhhh woowismeeeeee
      • 7 Years Ago
      icu812ru469 : It's HIS company? He owns ford? You certainly can not be that stupid.
      • 7 Years Ago
      unfortunately the Lions are owned by his father, William Clay Ford, Sr, so that's not happening soon.
      • 7 Years Ago

      A typical Focus goes for about 15K in the UK. Given current exchange rates, that's about 30K in US dollars.

      You are correct in that they may be able to bring the price down some. I'm sure they're working toward that goal. However, it's not a magic flip of the coin. Chances are they'd have to make numerous cost cutting measures (likely sacrificing some of what makes it attractive to you). I'm sure it'd also include moving the manufacturing.

      I think Ford is trying to do what people here are asking. It's just not as simple as bringing it stateside. It looks like they may be planning on bringing over the Verve to be the new entry level car. Once that happens, we might see some movement on the Euro Focus.
        • 7 Years Ago
        brn, it is inaccurate to do a simple currency conversion to find out how much a European car would cost in the United States. The reasons behind this inaccuracy are: (a) the European MSRP includes European taxes (such as the British VAT), whereas the MSRP in the US is before taxes, and (b) taxes in Europe are *much* higher than what we have here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      People who keep bringing up that a Euro Focus would cost 30K are the ones that need to shut up. Having recently invested in a Mazda3 5-door, a C-1 platform mate of the Euro Focus that is built in Japan, if Mazda can price that car at 19K before incentives, a Euro Focus built in N/A could be there too.

      The problem was this: The G1 Focus needed to "grow up" with its demographic. The evolution to the C-1 platform was the next step. However, Ford did not have a car to slot in under the Focus in 2004 (they really needed that Euro Fiesta to be the entry-level car, but it was not ready).

      Mazda is amazing. It is producing cars that Ford should have made -- from the Miatta to the CX-9 -- all of them are better than Ford's equivalents (save the edge, perhaps). Ford has the Fusion, a rather duller version of the Mazda6.
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