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Ford's Fields may walk away with US$57.5m after his ouster

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Former Ford Motor Co chief executive officer Mark Fields, ousted by the board after the automaker's stock declined 37 per cent on his watch, could walk away with about US$57.5 million in compensation.

[SOUTHFIELD, Michigan] Former Ford Motor Co chief executive officer Mark Fields, ousted by the board after the automaker's stock declined 37 per cent on his watch, could walk away with about US$57.5 million in compensation.

The largest portion of the ex-CEO's payout is in unvested stock awards, valued at US$29.4 million as of Wednesday's close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Those will vest through 2020, with the majority tied to performance goals. Mr Fields also is entitled to about US$17.5 million in retirement benefits, plus stock options worth US$8.1 million and an estimated prorated incentive bonus of about US$2.1 million.

Mr Fields agreed to resign May 19 after the board lost confidence in his ability to embrace the rapidly changing nature of transportation while managing through a declining US auto market.

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He was replaced by Jim Hackett, the former CEO of office-furniture maker Steelcase Inc, who was leading Ford's foray into self-driving cars and ride sharing. Despite Ford's stock slide during Mr Fields's nearly three years as CEO, the automaker earned record profits.

"I'm very thankful to Mark and he had a really terrific career here, but this is a time of unprecedented change," executive chairman Bill Ford said Monday at a press conference introducing Hackett as the new CEO.

"A time of great change, in my mind, requires a transformational leader and thankfully we have that in Jim."

Mr Fields, 56, will retain "reasonable use" of Ford's corporate aircraft until Aug 1, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company said in a filing Wednesday. He is also eligible for an annual bonus, pro-rated from January to August, and will retain the equity awards granted under this year's long-term incentive plan.

Mr Fields will get monthly benefits from retirement programs valued at US$17.5 million and had US$532,715 in deferred compensation as of Dec 31, according to Ford's most recent proxy filing. Bloomberg's calculations estimate Mr Fields's 2017 incentive based on 2016 bonus levels and only include options exercisable at Wednesday's closing share price of US$10.96.

Mr Hackett's promotion to CEO will be accompanied with compensation valued at US$13.4 million, according to the filing.

The pay package includes a US$1.8 million base salary, more than double the US$716,000 he was earning previously. Mr Hackett also received an annual incentive plan target of up to US$3.6 million, restricted stock grants worth US$7 million and a US$1 million accession bonus.

Last year, Mr Fields's total compensation rose 19 per cent to US$22.1 million.

BLOOMBERG

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