A year ago, when the heads of Detroit’s Big Three – GM’s Rick Wagoner, Ford’s Alan Mulally, and Chrysler’s Bob Nardelli – appeared in the infamous Capitol Hill bailout hearings, many lawmakers, and many Americans, decided that this trio from the industrial heartland could all be tarred with the bad-CEO brush. There was a telling moment, during a discussion about executive compensation, when the three CEOs were asked if they were willing to work for a dollar a year.Mulally’s polite reply, “I think I’m OK where I am,” was a juicy piece of red meat for the national media, who were as one in their downright contempt for these three men and the industry they represented. CNN’s Anderson Cooper literally sneered in disgust.The truth of the matter was hard to ascertain in that politically charged Senate hearing room, but it’s now obvious: Alan Mulally was, and is, worth whatever Ford is paying him, because he has almost single-handedly saved the automaker. The Ford Motor Company, unlike its two Detroit rivals, has not declared bankruptcy and has not dipped its hand into the TARP trough. (In fact, Mulally took a 30 percent pay cut and declared that he would indeed reduce… Read full this story
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