After Five Years, Bill Ford Jr. Finally Gets a Paycheck

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After years without a paycheck, Bill Ford Jr., the namesake chairman of Ford Motor (F), is finally getting paid. The automaker disclosed Friday that the great grandson of Henry Ford will receive a salary of $4.2 million, which had been deferred for more than two years until the company returned to profitability.

After a painful restructuring that resulted in job cuts and the sale of the company's European luxury brands, Ford reported its first profit in three years last year, earning $2.7 billion in 2009. In the first half of this year, Ford has earned $4.7 billion.

Ford spokesman Mark Truby told the Detroit Free Press that based on Ford' Motors recent financial performance, the board of director's compensation committee, in a meeting two days ago, recommended that Ford be paid.

"[Ford's] acceptance of the compensation committee's decision reflects his confidence in the future and is a sign of the progress that we have made," Truby told the newspaper. "He made this pledge and he was determined to stick to it until we were not only profitable but until we were on track for sustained profitable growth."

Ford vowed five years ago that he would forgo any compensation until the company was profitable again. He then personally borrowed money to buy about $14 million in stock options, according to Bloomberg News. In a regulatory filing Friday, the company reported that Ford sold 3.5 million shares of common stock for a total $45.7 million. He sold about half of the 3.5 million shares for $22.7 million, while the other 1.8 million shares were options he exercised and sold for $23 million, netting $5.7 million.

"Don't forget that the company hasn't been paying dividends," Joe Phillippi, principal at Auto Trends, a consulting firm in Short Hills, N.J., told Bloomberg. "It's not surprising that he wanted to take a little money off the table."
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