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Big Payday for GM’s Akerson

But payout is a pittance compared to Ford’s Mulally.

by on Mar.20, 2012

GM Chairman and CEO Akerson won't be able to cash out for several years.

General Motors Chairman Dan Akerson is getting a big payday – though he won’t be able to cash the check for a couple of years.

Akerson, who also serves as GM’s chief executive has been awarded 76,249 shares of restricted stock, according to paperwork the maker has filed with the federal government –which still owns about a third of GM’s stock and has oversight on pay issues for the company’s top executives.

Based on the recent price range for GM stock that would work out to somewhere around $2 million — $1.94 million, to be precise, based on what the shares closed at on Monday.  But if GM stock comes close to the $33 it commanded when the maker held its November 2010 IPO that would add more than $500,000 to the payout.

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Akerson will have time to wait and see, as he cannot cash in for several more years.  He can convert two-thirds of the award to common stock on March 15, 2014 and the rest a year later.  And he will have to remain a continuous GM employee for the duration or risk losing his stock bonus.


Marchionne Takes Home $0 from Chrysler – but $18.9 mil from Fiat

The night job pays off.

by on Mar.15, 2012

Why is this man smiling? An $18.9 million paycheck certainly helps.

In an era of executive excess, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne made headlines, earlier this month, when it was reported he took no compensation for his work at the U.S. automaker last year.  That was all the more impressive compared to the news, that same day, that Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally had received $58.3 million in stock alone for 2011.

But for those wondering how deeply Marchionne might have to dig into his pockets to cover the reported $3.5 million home he recently purchased in the Detroit suburbs there’s no reason to worry.  While he didn’t get money from Chrysler he did more than okay wearing his other hat, as CEO of the U.S. maker’s Italian partner Fiat.

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In all, Marchionne took home 14.5 million Euros, or $18.9 million,  last year, including $3.2 million in salary and another $15.69 million in stock that vested last year.  Major companies like Ford and Fiat like to use stock as an incentive, the argument being that with enough shares an executive like Marchionne or Mulally will be motivated to maximize investor value.


No Diesels for Small Chryslers, Says Marchionne

Fiat not interested in acquiring Opel.

by on Jan.12, 2012

While the Jeep Grand Cherokee is set to get a new diesel, Chrysler won't be using the high-mileage technology in its small cars.

Chrysler will begin building the diesel version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit early in 2013. But Fiat/Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said he doesn’t expect diesel engines to move from large trucks and SUVs into smaller passenger cars in the U.S.

The necessary emission controls make the engines too expensive, Marchionne said during an appearance at the Automotive News World Congress. The Canadian-born executive also said Chrysler won’t begin preparing the Jefferson North plant to build a new Maserati SUV — using a Ferrari engine — until 2013 and dismissed speculation Fiat could be lining up to make a bid for Opel.

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He also said the industry has a social responsibility to improve fuel economy. “The fuel efficiency challenge is one of the biggest issues facing the industry, and not just because of daunting government regulations. As an industry, we need to look beyond the narrow interests of our industry and embrace ecological responsibility because we owe it to future generations,” he said.


Is Marchionne Signaling Plans to Base in Detroit

Exec will add "fundraiser" to his long To-Do list.

by on Jan.06, 2012

Marchionne currently splits his time between Italy and the U.S. Will he be focusing himself on Detroit going forward?

As the saying goes, home is where the heart is. Thus, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne’s decision to serve as the campaign chair for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan is certain to be parsed for its underlying significance in a multinational company, such as Fiat/Chrysler, with deep roots on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sure, most of the job will be handled by his staff, cynics might suggest, but, still, he could have begged off completely because of his overloaded travel schedule.

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But Marchionne, who went to school in Windsor, across the river from Detroit, has elected to get involved in the task of helping the United Way raise money for worthy but unglamorous causes such as Boys and Girls Clubs.


Chrysler Chief Marchionne Working for Free – Well, Not Quite…

CEO taking no pay from Chrysler…but he’s not going broke.

by on Mar.01, 2011

Would he change sweaters if he were getting paid more?

Zero. That’s how much money Sergio Marchionne received while serving as the chief executive officer of the Chrysler Group in 2010, according to a new filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.

But the CEO isn’t going broke or doing it as a charitable write-off.  Marchionne was granted 361,446 shares of Chrysler shares tentatively valued at $600,000 for his year of work. The Canadian-educated executive also received $4.8 million from Chrysler’s Italian partner, Fiat, in 2010 — which is about 27% less than he made in 2009.

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Chrysler reported that the compensation of four other senior executives was a bit more lucrative, up front, than for Marchionne.

Richard Palmer, Chrysler’s chief financial officer, made $500,000 salary and another $520,00 from restricted stock units and phantom share awards, while Holly Leese, Chrysler’s general counsel, was paid $455,000 plus an additional $460,750 in restricted and phantom shares, while executive vice president Nancy Rae’s package totaled $455,000 and an additional $453,000 in restricted and phantom shares.  Michael Manley, president of the Jeep brand and head of international operations, made $410,000 in salary and  $408,000 is restricted and phantom shares.


Marchionne Trips Over Quips

But CEO's actions speak louder than words.

by on Feb.09, 2011

Loose lips sink...? CEO Marchionne has had to back off on a number of recent comments.

It’s been a week of backpedaling for Sergio Marchionne, the outspoken CEO of both Chrysler and its Italian affiliate, Fiat.

Seldom shy about expressing himself, the Canadian-educated executive has been tripped up by a series of quips, starting with remarks made, over the last week, that have managed to upset Canadians, Jewish groups, Italian unions, the City of Turin and the Italy’s teetering govenrment, which summoned Marchionne to Rome for an explanation of his loose talk.

The trouble began following a San Francisco speech during which he used the often anti-Semitic term, “shyster” to describe what he saw as excessive interest rates applied on the loans offered by the U.S. and Canadian governments, in 2009, to save Chrysler from liquidation.

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The executive next suggested that Fiat might move its headquarters to Detroit, which became huge news across Italy.  It didn’t help that Marchionne had, back in November, made disparaging remarks about his homeland on the popular Italian television show, “Che tempo chef a,” insisting Fiat “cannot continue…forever” operate in a country where, he insisted, a lack of productivity is considered an acceptable norm.


Marchionne: Fiat Would Do Better Without Italy

“Not a single Euro” of profit from Italian plants, sighs CEO.

by on Oct.27, 2010

Fiat might be better off without Italy, suggested CEO Sergio Marchionne.

It may be based there, but Fiat would be better off without Italy, suggests the automaker’s outspoken CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Often critical of the country’s less-than-efficient bureaucracy and its demanding unions, Marchionne warned, on one of Italy’s leading TV shows, that Fiat “cannot continue…forever” to operate in a country where a lack of productivity is considered an acceptable norm.

“Not a single Euro of Fiat’s planned 2-billion Euro profit margin comes from Italy,” Marchionne said during an appearance on the show “Che tempo che fa.”

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Marchionne made his appearance on the show shortly after announcing the company pulled a 236 million Euro profit for the third quarter and outlining the even bigger target for all of 2010, exceeding analysts’ earlier forecast.


Chrysler IPO Likely in 2011, Says Marchionne

Fiat, meanwhile, separates auto and industrial operations.

by on Sep.17, 2010

An IPO is in the works but likely won't launch until the second half of 2011.

While General Motors will launch its long-awaited IPO later this year, don’t expect Chrysler to make its own debut on the stock market until 2011, and probably not until the second half of the year, said Sergio Marchionne, who serves as Chairman and CEO of both the U.S. maker and its partner, Fiat.

The Italian automaker currently holds a 20% stake in Chrysler, which it took after the American manufacturer emerged from bankruptcy last year.  But the White House, which manages a 10% stake held by the Treasury, has given Fiat the option to increase its stake by meeting several goals, including the ramp-up of Chrysler’s international presence.

And during a meeting with Fiat shareholders, at the company’s Turin headquarters, Marchionne revealed that Fiat’s stake should soon be bumped up to 25%.

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But the critical question is when Marchionne will take Chrysler public again.  He has long indicated it won’t happen as soon as at GM – which has been under intense pressure from Washington to begin selling off the government’s 60.1% stake and repay the roughly $50 billion federal bailout.

Chrysler’s IPO, said Marchionne, will be likely in 2011.  “I don’t think it will be the first part.  I think it’s a second-half year event.”


Marchionne Takes Fire

Strikes, protests pursue Chrysler/Fiat CEO.

by on Jan.15, 2010

Chrysler CEO Marchionne's speech, this week, drew several protests, but the executive's big challenge is a planned strike against Fiat.

It’s not always easy keeping people happy when you’re running a car company.  For Sergio Marchionne, who heads both the Italian automaker, Fiat, as well as the troubled American car company, Chrysler, it adds up to double-trouble.

The biggest issue, for the moment, is on the European side, where Fiat is facing the threat of a system-wide “warning” strike, on February 3, with workers set to protest plans by the company to shutter a factory in Sicily.  Further job actions are hinted at if Fiat refuses to rescind the death sentence for what Marchione has described as the most costly assembly plant in the company’s network.

But the executive hasn’t escaped the angry mobs here in the U.S., either, where he is spending half his time trying to manage Chrysler’s turnaround.

Earlier this week, Marchionne was greeted by two separate protests before delivering a speech to the annual Automotive News World Congress.  As the Italian executive was being introduced by AN Publisher Keith Crain, a woman raced to the podium and began screaming about the automaker’s alleged role in her mother’s death in a car accident.  It took several security officers to eventually drag her off the stage.

But that only gave cover to another, more subtle protest.  Several people entered the grand ballroom at Detroit’s Renaissance Center carrying brightly-colored balloons – some observers wondering if it were perhaps a celebration of the 40th birthday of Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles.  In fact, the helium balloons were quickly released, carrying a protest banner to the ceiling of the ballroom.

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It wasn’t at first clear who was responsible, initial attention focusing on the same folks who’d protested the Chrysler and General Motors bailouts outside Cobo Hall during the Detroit Auto Show.  It turned out, however, that the protestors – one shouting, “shame,” in vernacular Italian – were upset by Chrysler’s plan to go with non-union car haulers.