Marchionne Gets $36 Million Award for World-Beating Returns

Updated on
  • Fiat CEO also earned $11.95 million in 2017 compensation
  • Marchionne stock award part of long-term incentive program
Sergio Marchionne

Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marchionne delivered the best returns among his automaker-chief peers the last few years. He was compensated handsomely as a result.

Marchionne earned earned 9.68 million euros ($12 million) in base compensation and bonus during 2017, according to the Italian-American automaker’s annual report filed Tuesday. He also collected stock valued at about $36 million at the March 2017 vesting date of the grant, which covered the three previous years.

The dramatic rise in Fiat Chrysler’s stock has had a multiplier effect on Marchionne’s wealth, putting the 65-year-old executive in the ranks of the mega-wealthy who typically found and own companies, not those hired to run them. Marchionne owns Fiat Chrysler shares now worth about $362 million, along with $190 million of Ferrari NV and $169 million of truck-and-tractor maker CNH Industrial NV.

Marchionne, who is credited with saving Fiat in the mid-2000s, completed the full takeover of Chrysler in 2014 to create the current company. He also oversaw the IPO of Ferrari in 2015 and its spinoff the next year.

He sold more than one-third of the 2.8 million shares delivered to him in 2017 to pay taxes, the company disclosed in November together with the share award. Even so, the stock’s rise means the remaining 1.8 million shares are now worth almost $40 million -- more than the initial grant.

Fiat Chrysler awarded the shares as part of a performance-based pay program in which Marchionne achieved all profit and business plan targets and delivered an almost quadrupling of value to shareholders during the three-year stretch. That was tops among the 10 auto manufacturers the company counts as its peers and trounced the 24 percent median return, according to the filing.

(Updates with current value of stock grant in fifth paragraph.)
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