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]