FCA CEO Mike Manley received $12.5 million in compensation in 2019

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Mike Manley in 2019 received $12.46 million (11.45 million euro) in compensation for his first full year leading the Italian American automaker.

In a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fiat Chrysler said it neared the $14 million total pay target for Manley it had projected last year. The automaker was the first of Detroit's three automakers to report executive compensation.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley at last year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Manley received a base salary of $1.56 million (1.43 million euro). He also was given a $1.31 million (1.20 million euro) performance-based bonus of the $2.4 million the automaker last year said he had the opportunity to obtain. Additionally, Manley received a stock grant of $9.60 million (8.82 million euro).

The automaker's pre-tax earnings fell 1% year-over-year in 2019 to $7.3 billion, just shy of the more than $7.4 billion it had projected. The company's margins, earnings per share and industrial-free cash flow, however, surpassed expectations.

In 2018, Fiat Chrysler paid Manley $2.60 million (2.83 million euros) in compensation after he took over on July 21 from the late Sergio Marchionne, who received $7.22 million (6.63 million euros).

FCA Chairman John Elkann received in 2019 $3.46 million (3.18 million euros) in compensation. The executive opted for a smaller base salary of $972,000 (893,276 euros) compared to $2 million (1.6 million euros) the year prior in favor of a stock grant of $2.49 million (2.28 million euros).

Elkann is poised to remain chairman if Fiat Chrysler's merger with French automaker Groupe PSA closes in the next year or so as expected, a combination still without a name that would create the world's fourth-largest automaker. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares will lead the combined company with Manley remaining with the automaker in a senior executive role, most likely chief operating officer and head of North America.

Tavares received $8.32 million (7.64 million euros) in compensation in 2018. Last year's compensation will be shared during PSA's general assembly this spring.

Fiat Chrysler also disclosed the compensation of Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer after he was added to the board of directors last year on April 12. Between that date and the end of the year, Palmer received $4.06 million (3.73 million euro). That breaks down to a $1.01 million ($924,936 euro) base salary, $545,452 (501,128 euro) bonus and $2.51 million (2.31 million euro) stock grant.

Marchionne's estate also was granted nearly two million FCA shares based on the automaker's performance from 2014 to 2018. It was the last of three tranches of stock to be delivered based on the company's performance at the end of a five-year plan set in 2014. Ahead of the annual report, Fiat Chrysler's stock price closed down 2.1% at $11.95 per share as market indexes plunged amid worsening fears of the coronavirus outbreak.

Executive compensation was a frequent criticism among United Auto Workers members last year during labor negotiations. The new contracts guarantee wage increases over the next four years.

GM and Ford Motor Co. have not yet released annual proxy statements and executive compensation for 2019. GM CEO Mary Barra in recent years has been the highest-paid Detroit Three executive. GM paid Barra $21.87 million in total compensation in 2018. The Detroit automaker usually releases its annual proxy in April.

Ford paid CEO Jim Hackett $17.75 million in 2018. Ford typically releases its annual proxy in mid-March. Earlier this month it disclosed Jim Farley, who becomes chief operating officer on Sunday, could receive a pay increase of up to $2 million from the promotion

Tesla Inc. also has not filed its proxy statement. In 2018, Elon Musk, CEO of the Silicon Valley electric-vehicle maker, received $2.28 billion in total compensation — the most by far, according to The New York Times, of the largest 200 publicly traded corporations in the United States.


Twitter: @BreanaCNoble