Ford chief took home nearly $18 million in ‘challenging’ year

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, who began overhauling the carmaker’s business plans last year, took home a 2018 compensation package worth nearly $18 million.

His total annual payout included a $1.8 million base salary and $12.7 million in stock awards, along with about $3.2 million in other compensation, according to public filings posted Friday.

Hackett said in a recent call with investors that 2018 was a “challenging year” that was “full of headwinds.” But he also positioned it as a turning point.

Ford committed to spending $11 billion to reshape its business, hoping to boost sales overseas and modernize its fleet of vehicles by focusing more on electric and autonomous driving tech. Competitors including General Motors have announced similar plans.

Ford’s restructuring is expected to cost thousands of jobs across the globe. On Friday, the company announced it will cut roughly 5,000 jobs in Germany through a “voluntary separation” program and through other plans. Ford told CNN Business that jobs will also be cut in the United Kingdom, but the number of positions that will be affected there have “yet to be determined.”

According to the filing, Hackett’s compensation is 276 times larger than the median compensation for other Ford employees.

Ford praised Hackett’s leadership in the filing, saying he is “equipped to lead the Company’s commitment to becoming the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world that help people move more safely, confidently, and freely.”

Few on Wall Street doubt that the company needs to shake things up.

Hackett became CEO of Ford in May 2017 amid mounting financial pressures. Ford’s stock is up more than 10% so far in 2018, though it’s still down more than 40% compared to five years ago.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, has also pushed for development of a new generation of electric and self-driving cars.

Bill Ford was the second-highest compensated executive at Ford last year with a total payout of $13.8 million.

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