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Ford CEO makes nearly $18M

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. president and CEO Alan Mulally made $17.9 million last year, about 1 percent more than the year before, as the company struggled through the worst U.S. auto sales market in decades, according to a calculation by The Associated Press based on government filings.

Mulally took a 30 percent pay cut last February, dropping his salary to $1.4 million, and he got no bonus for the second year in a row. But the value of his stock options and stock awards rose by 9 percent to more than $16 million as the market improved and Ford’s shares climbed later in the year.

Ford shares rose to a five-year high last week after Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the automaker’s debt and said Ford has the potential to improve its finances even further.

Mulally’s compensation included $127,699 for use of a private jet. Ford spent $752,203 for Mulally’s air travel on corporate jets the year before, but it sold its corporate jets in 2009. Ford also paid $43,447 for Mulally’s security.

Ford’s fortunes rose in 2009 even as U.S. industry sales slumped to a 26-year low. The automaker earned $2.7 billion in 2009, its first annual profit in four years. Unlike General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group, Ford avoided bankruptcy court and didn’t take government loans. As a result, Ford reaped goodwill from buyers and ended the year with its first U.S. market share increase since 1995.

Ford’s revenues fell by 14 percent in 2009, but the company benefited from $5.1 billion in cuts to manufacturing, engineering and advertising.

Mulally said 2009 was “pivotal” in Ford’s transformation, but that the company has significant work to do. The automaker, which took out big loans in 2006 to fund its restructuring, ended 2009 with $34.3 billion in debt. That puts Ford at a disadvantage to GM and Chrysler, which were able to shed debt in bankruptcy court.

Ford also announced that it will hold its annual shareholders meeting on May 13 in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year.

It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, making the AP total different in most cases than the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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