CEO pay rises for auto industry

Compensation for supplier CEOs more than doubled from a year ago as boards rewarded them for steering the businesses through the pandemic and parts shortages. Mobility and technology companies, meanwhile, were the only sector of the industry in which the median compensation package declined from a year ago. Having only three automaker CEOs on the list with two full years of tenure skewed the median compensation for that sector significantly higher.

The study looked at 49 automakers, suppliers and public retailers and calculated total compensation as the sum of the executive’s base salary, gains from stock option exercise, gains from the vesting of stock awards, cash bonus payouts, and other forms of compensation. Equilar’s survey includes the realized value of equity awards, which is why its numbers can differ from the total compensation reported in regulatory filings.

Musk earned nothing in 2020 using Equilar’s methodology because he had no base salary and didn’t exercise any stock options. Yu said that in 2021 Musk had stock options that were about to expire from previous years and received a large gain because of the increase in Tesla’s stock price. In 2019, Musk made $30.5 million.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.  

Rawlinson’s 2021 total compensation included stock award gains of $40.8 million and stock gains of $16.6 million. Barra earned over $26 million in stock option gains and $25.1 million in stock award gains as part of her 2021 total compensation.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley ranked No. 28 on the list with total compensation coming in at just under $10 million in 2021. His compensation included a base salary of $1.7 million and $3.2 million in stock award gains.

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