Ford’s New CEO Mark Fields Eligible for 33% Rise in Pay

Ford Motor Co.’s new Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields will be paid salary and bonus of as much as $5.25 million this year, a 33 percent increase from what he was eligible to receive as chief operating officer in 2013.

Fields, who became CEO yesterday upon the retirement of Alan Mulally, will get $1.75 million in salary and is eligible for a bonus of $3.5 million, Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said today in a regulatory filing. He’ll get 710,227 stock options at an exercise price of $17.21, which compensation analyst GMI Ratings values at more than $3 million. Last year, Mulally received $2 million in salary and $5.88 million in bonus.

Fields, 53, also replacing Mulally on Ford’s board, previously ran and revived the automaker’s North American business, which earned a record operating profit of $8.78 billion last year. A 25-year Ford employee, Fields became an early acolyte of Mulally’s culture of collaboration that helped the automaker avoid the 2009 bankruptcies that befell the predecessors of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.

“This is not jaw dropping for the executive compensation world,” Gary Hewitt, managing director and head of research at New York-based GMI, said in an interview. “This reflects a decision by the board to raise his 2014 compensation to CEO levels, but they haven’t pushed it to stratospheric levels.”

Fields may receive other stock grants as part of his promotion that may not be revealed until Ford files its proxy statement next year, Hewitt said.

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“We continue to believe in aligning executive compensation with the company’s business performance and long-term shareholder value,” Susan Krusel, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. “We regularly review executive compensation at other companies and believe our compensation packages are competitive and in line with our strong business results.”

Fields’s total 2013 compensation was $10.17 million, including stock grants and options, while Mulally was paid $23.2 million.

Today’s filing also said that Fields will be “required to use private aircraft when traveling for safety and to maximize his availability for company business.” Fields was criticized in the past for using Ford’s corporate aircraft to visit his family in Florida and began flying commercial in 2007.

Mulally will retain access to Ford’s corporate aircraft and company-paid housing through Aug. 31, the filing said. He also will retain $13.8 million in stock awards received in March for his performance.