DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford will defer 100 percent of his salary for at least the next five months and other top executives will defer up to half of their pay as the automaker looks to conserve cash amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said CEO Jim Hackett, COO Jim Farley and CFO Tim Stone will defer 50 percent of their salaries, effective May 1. Bill Ford's deferment also is effective as of that date. The accumulated deferred salary amounts will be paid after the company has repaid at least $7 billion of the $15.4 billion credit lines it tapped earlier this month.
Hackett, in a letter to Ford employees, said the company's top 300 executives will defer 20 to 50 percent of their pay.
"The character of people and organizations is revealed in difficult times," Hackett wrote. "I'm extremely proud of how Ford is keeping our people safe, doing our part to limit the spread of the virus, taking care of customers and managing through the crisis in ways that safeguard our work force, our business and our partners."
Bill Ford earned a $1.7 million base salary in 2018, according to the automaker’s latest proxy filing. Hackett collected a $1.8 million base salary over that same period.
Farley’s base salary recently rose to $1.4 million when he was named COO effective March 1.
Hackett, in the letter, said Ford intended to get through the pandemic without any job losses, although he noted that it may have to “take tougher actions” if the situation lasts longer than anticipated.
Additionally, Hackett said Ford will begin deferring merit-based salary increases, suspending overtime for salaried workers and freezing hiring for “noncritical skill positions.”
He said work schedules and pay might be “temporarily reduced” for workers whose jobs can’t be done from home and that others may be offered voluntary sabbaticals.
Hackett said the company would continue to provide health insurance and paid time off to cover a 14-day quarantine if workers are exposed to the virus.