Here is a roundup of news last week involving Delphi Corp. Delphi CEO Steve Miller said Monday, Oct. 17, that he had slashed his annual salary to $1 a year. But he's keeping his $3 million signing bonus. In addition, 20 top executives who were at the company when Miller joined Delphi in June have waived 10 percent of their annual base pay, or 20 percent in the case of President Rodney O'Neal, the company said. The changes are effective Jan. 1.
Miller had been criticized by hourly workers and the UAW for granting in bankruptcy protection new potential severance and stock for executives while asking unionized workers for wage and benefit cuts of about 60 percent. Miller said in a media conference call that he couldn't ask hourly workers to make those kinds of sacrifices while earning a salary of $1.5 million annually. Two large European auto suppliers are showing interest in buying Delphi businesses -- Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH and France's Valeo SA. Bosch is the world's largest auto supplier and Valeo is the 13th largest, according to the Automotive News list of the top 100 global OEM parts suppliers ranked on 2004 sales.
"Of course, we are screening Delphi, as well as all acquisition opportunities which we think would be there or we would like to develop. This is a constant process," Bernd Bohr, chairman of Bosch's automotive group, told Reuters.
Valeo Chairman Thierry Morin made similar statements on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to a French newspaper and said the company may also be interested in Visteon Corp. assets. J.T. Battenberg III, Delphi's founding chairman who retired as CEO on July 1, has declined to comment on the company's Chapter 11 filing. Nancy Moss, his administrative assistant, told Crain's Detroit Business that he is declining interviews. At the time of Battenberg's retirement, it was announced that over the coming months he would be available to the company as a consultant for a total of 30 days. Delphi spokesman David Bodkin said Battenberg has fulfilled the commitment. The law firm Delphi wants to use for labor relations in its Chapter 11 case is the same one representing its former CFO, Alan Dawes, in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a shareholder lawsuit. Delphi asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain to let it hire O'Melveny & Myers, of Los Angeles, as its special labor counsel.
Delphi said in the motion that O'Melveny "has erected a wall between the attorneys working on the existing Dawes matters" and those working on the labor side. One legal analyst said that such overlaps are common when dealing with large firms and that he doesn't see a conflict of interest in this case. The figurative wall keeps attorneys from sharing any information.
Compiled from Automotive News, Crain's Detroit Business and Reuters reports