You probably heard about Ford’s CEO Mark Fields’ departure from the company. Fields has spent almost three years with the company, and now, he is going to be replaced by Jim Hackett, chairman of Ford Smart Mobility.
If you didn’t know why he was ousted, the former CEO had a difficult situation to handle - that is “to develop an autonomous car, and to be a worldwide guy”. The company basically gave Fields an impossible task considering the timeframe he was given.
The company even criticized him earlier this month during the annual shareholder meeting regarding the Michigan-based company’s sluggish financial results. This issue began when the company’s market capitalization fell behind Tesla’s earlier this year. Some even say that this action by Ford was unfair for Fields, since it is very difficult to compete with Google’s autonomous car space, the Alphabet, and Elon Musk of Tesla.
Though it may be unfair to the eyes of others, don’t feel so bad for the former CEO as it was reported by Automotive News that Field will be receiving nearly $58 million when everything has been settled - if that news is accurate. At least we know that he won’t be starving.
Here’s the thing, Field’s won’t be taking home a paycheck with that amount written on it, because a huge part of that amount, precisely $29.4 million (according to Bloomberg) will be in the form of unvested stock, and will continue to vest through 2020. Though it sounds ironic considering that Ford’s stock prices have gone down. But the interesting part here is that no one ever said that the falling stock price was the reason why Fields left.
That’s not all that Fields will be getting as he will be getting a pro-rated bonus amounting to $2.1 million, plus $8.1 million in stock options. And since he resigned from the company instead of being kicked out, he should receive an additional $17.5 million in retirement benefits. Apart from all the financial benefits, he still has access to the company’s fleet of corporate jets until August 1.
On May 22, after announcing that Hackett will be replacing Fields, Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the company said that Hackett’s appointment will “transform Ford for the future”. Ford praised him even more, saying that he is a “true visionary who will bring unique, human centered leadership approach to their culture that will unlock the potential of the business”.
The company began declining since the electric car segment started growing. But it’s also likely because it hasn’t been releasing new models in the market. But then, it’s also widely acknowledged that it isn’t only Ford that has been facing setbacks, especially this year.