Slim Jim Hackett - the 65-year-old former office furniture bigwig who stepped up into the Ford engine room, when the board (and by ‘board’ I mean the Ford family) pureed Mark Fields, you remember that…
...anyway, Slim Jim earned $US17.8 million last year. That’s about $25 million Shitsvillian micropesos. More than enough for a good time with your trousers on.
Hackett’s pay jumped six per cent. Ford’s profits dropped by more than 50 per cent and the share price tanked about 40 per cent.
If $18 million - near enough - is what you get for dropping the ball, what’s the bonus for actually succeeding?
So, to put this in perspective, Hackett’s pay is about $50,000 a day (US) (times 365 days - it’s that kind of gig - he’s on call). Which is, incidentally, 276 times greater than the $64,000 a year median Ford worker’s pay.
You could look at this another way: If the year starts on a Monday, by about half past 10 on Tuesday morning, Hackett has made more than you will all year, if you’re that average Ford worker.
Does that seem reasonable? Is anyone worth that? I mean, his duties are fairly straightforward: Slash jobs, close plants, exit the North American sedan market, drop $11 billion on restructuring and lose just over half a billion in China (and that was just in the last quarter of 2018).
Still, $25 million, to drive a sinking ship to the bottom of the Marianas trench. Does that seem reasonable to you? Is anyone actually worth that? Let me know in the comments feed below.
Speaking of CEOs - Carlos Ghosn, boss of the Renault, Nissan Mitsubishi train wreck: I was uplifted to see him skulk out of Big House in Tokyo, where he’d been domiciled for three or four months, earlier this month.
Ghosn is accused of under-reporting his financial compensation, and shifting his personal losses back onto the Nissan books. That’s fairly naughty in Japan. He faces 15 years if convicted, which, at 65, let’s face it, is tantamount to a life sentence.
The Japanese have a 99 per cent conviction rate of indicted persons, but bail is uncommon in Japan, so perhaps this case is not really a slam-dunk.
Interestingly, the alliance Ghosn presided over forms the biggest carmaking consortium on earth. (One in nine cars, employing 450,000 people.) Ghosn makes about the same as the blue oval’s Slim Jimbo Hackett, of whom we spoke in such fond terms just moments ago.
Let’s call ‘em both tied at US$17 million.
Mary Barra, who heads up GM - possibly the largest moral burden in the industry this side of Volkswagen - makes almost US$22 million. She’s on top, car industry CEO pay-wise.
The boss of Daimler makes just under US$10 million. Peasant.
I can’t find Herbert Diess’s pay (he’s the current holder of the Volkswagen poisoned chalice). But his predecessor Matthias Muller made about $8.3 million, and Martin Winterkorn was about the same before exiting the company’s anus at 30,000 feet, shortly before dieselgate splashdown.
Akio Toyoda - one guess which company he heads up - he makes just under US$2 million. And that’s far more typical for the automotive bigwigs in the land of the rising sun.
There’s two narratives on Ghosn: A) He’s a greedy, megalomaniacal bastard who rode roughshod over Japanese law to enrich himself in the manner of a James Bond villain (almost)...
...or B) It’s all a big, smelly conspiracy at Nissan headquarters, abetted by the Nipponese government (they’ve been publicly scathing about Ghosn’s pay in the past).
Japanese national pride has been kicked in the testes heavily because essentially the Frogs ate Nissan. And I wouldn’t discound how deeply this insult is felt at the highest levels there.
See, they really hate it that Renault owns 43 per cent of Nissan - that’s the shot-calling, controlling stake - and Ghosn was the architect of that quasi-takeover. So he’s really been walking around with a glass of Henri Laurent in one hand and a target on his back ever since.
So I guess the Japanese court will really - apart from setting the course of the rest of Ghosn’s life - also tell us for sure whether Nissan is really still Japanese, or just a hollow French subsidiary, philosophically.