Ford Motor Co. earned the most money in more than a decade last year, and that has triggered a big payday for the automaker's top executives.
Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally received stock worth $56.5 million before taxes, the company said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings Monday. The dollar figure is based on the closing price of Ford's shares March 3, a company spokesman said.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. was awarded stock worth $42.4 million.
Mulally, a former Boeing Co. senior executive, is credited with turning Ford around and keeping it solvent when General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group both filed for bankruptcy and survived only because of massive government bailouts.
Bill Ford is the guy who hired him. Ford had been running the automaker until 2006, when he hired Mulally because he needed help devising a plan to survive a downturn in the auto business. They then went to a consortium of banks to borrow more than $23.5 billion to restructure the company, allowing it to survive the recession and auto industry downturn.
The company earned a profit of $6.6 billion in 2010, its best year since 1999, and it has steadily gained market share in the U.S. over the last two years.
Ford finished the year with more cash in its automotive operations, $20.5 billion, than it had debt: $19.1 billion. And it slashed its borrowings by 43%, or $14.5 billion, last year. The pay-down has trimmed Ford's interest expenses by about $1 billion annually.
Ford shares rose 46 cents, or 3%, to $14.47 on Tuesday.