Annual CEO salary of four major US auto companies – who makes the most money?

Among the Detroit auto giants, FCA head Mike Manley has the lowest salary and GM CEO Bola has the highest salary.


Ford CEO’s 2019 salary of $17.4 million is equivalent to 157 times the annual salary of ordinary middle-level employees.

In 2019, Ford CEO Jim Hackett had a total compensation of $17.4 million, of which the basic salary is $1.8 million, the stock award is $ 13.2 million, the incentive salary is $1.8 million, and other compensation is $617,637.

Jim Hackett, Ford CEO

According to data disclosed by the company, the average salary of Ford employees in 2019 reached US $110,706, up from US $64,316 in 2018. Therefore, although Han Kaite’s salary in 2019 has dropped by 2.2% compared with the $17.8 million in 2018, his annual salary is still 157 times the average salary of the company’s employees.

Tim Stone, the chief financial officer of Ford, was paid $8.3 million last year. After Jim Farley was promoted to chief operating officer, his salary increased from $5.9 million in 2018 to $8.36 million; Joe Hinrichs, president of the Ford Motor Division, raised his salary last year from $5.8 million in 2018 to $11 million; Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, also raised his salary in 2019 from $13.8 million to $16.8 million.

In order to cut costs during the epidemic, Ford will delay the payment of 20% to 50% of the salary of the company ’s top 300 executives for at least 5 months from May 1, of which the executive chairman Bill Ford ’s salary will be delayed. Half of the salary of CEO Han Kaite will be delayed, and 50% of the salary of Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley and Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone will also be delayed. The accumulated salary delayed will be paid after the company repays at least $7 billion in debt.

General Motors

General Motors CEO’s salary of $21.63 million in 2019 is equivalent to 203 times the average salary of employees.

Mary Barra, General Motors CEO

According to data released by General Motors, the company’s CEO Mary Barra total revenue decreased by 1.1% over the previous year, to 21.63 million US dollars, lower than 2018’s $21.87 million. In 2017, as GM’s chairman and CEO, Bora’s revenue was $21.96 million.

Last year’s total compensation for Bora included $2.1 million in basic compensation, stock awards worth $12.14 million, options worth over $3.5 million, and performance awards worth $2.73 million. The basic salary of Bora in 2019 is the same as that in 2018, but the performance bonus decreased by 38.7% year-on-year. Nonetheless, GM stated that Bora’s income is equivalent to 203 times the company ’s average salary ($106,700).

General Motors announced on March 26 that in order to save cash flow and avoid layoffs, from April 1, the company will delay the payment of 20% of the cash remuneration of about 69,000 white-collar employees. Before the 15th of the month, the medical benefits of the employees will not be affected. In addition to white-collar employees, 25% to 30% of executive salaries will be delayed. Among them, CEO Mary Bola will also temporarily reduce salary by 30%, and the total compensation of board members of the company will also be reduced by 20%.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

FCA CEO Mike Manley salary exceeding $14.4 million in 2019 is 232 times that of ordinary employees.

Mike Manley, FCA CEO

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) paid its CEO Mike Manley more than $14.4 million in total compensation in 2019, which is 232 times the average salary of $62,259 million. His salary includes benefits such as tax and retirement-related expenses. His base salary is $1.56 million, his bonus is $1.3 million, and his long-term incentive compensation is $9.6 million. Excluding fringe benefits, Michael Manley’s direct total compensation was $12.4 million.

Among other FCA executives, Chairman John Elkann’s total compensation including benefits is $4.2 million, direct compensation is $2.5 million, and basic salary is $970,000. Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer’s compensation including benefits is $4.4 million, direct compensation is $4.06 million, and basic salary is $1 million.

Affected by the coronavirus epidemic, the FCA announced that from April to June this year, the salaries of full-time employees of the company will be reduced by 20%, and the salary of CEO Mike Manley will be halved. 19 members will also reduce their salaries by 30%. Group Chairman John Elkann and other members of the board of directors will no longer receive remuneration for the rest of the year.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk will receive nearly 700 million US dollars bonus.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk

In 2018, Elon Musk and Tesla signed a ten-year salary plan. The plan stipulates that Musk does not have any salary or bonus until Tesla’s six-month average market value reaches $100 Billion. Musk will be able to get the first of a total of 12 batches of options. Each batch of option rewards will allow Musk to purchase 1.69 million shares of Tesla stock at a preferential price of $ 350.02 per share. If Tesla’s market value reaches 650 billion US dollars and achieves revenue and profit targets, Musk can get all the rewards.

On May 4, Tesla’s stock price rose by more than 8%, bringing Tesla’s market value to $141.1 billion at the close. Refinitiv’s analysis data shows that this share price increase has brought Tesla’s average market value to $100.2 billion in the past six months. According to Tesla’s closing price of $761.19 per share on May 4, Musk could theoretically obtain a profit of $694 million by selling shares.

When announcing Tesla’s compensation plan, Tesla said that if it does not issue new shares, Musk can theoretically obtain up to $55.8 billion in earnings. However, since then, Tesla has been issuing new shares to compensate employees, and last year Tesla issued $2.7 billion in stocks and variable bonds.

Due to the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, the above four major car companies have tightened their belts to save costs and cut the salaries of executives and employees.

Author: Nabeel K

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