Chrysler CEO declines 2011 pay; company now worth $7.5 billion

Thu Mar 8, 2012 12:52am EST
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By Deepa Seetharaman

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC's top executive declined a salary and bonus for a second straight year in 2011, when the Detroit automaker repaid more than $7 billion in government loans from its bankruptcy restructuring nearly three years ago.

Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is still compensated as CEO of Italian automaker Fiat SpA, which owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler and paid him 3.5 million euros ($4.5 million) in 2010.

Chrysler did reimburse Marchionne, however, for cleaning, security and other costs at his condominium in Michigan, according to an annual regulatory filing released late Tuesday.

Marchionne has been CEO of both automakers since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009. His hard-charging style has been credited with bringing the U.S. automaker back from the brink of collapse and reviving Wall Street's interest.

Chrysler's improved financial performance pushed its value to $7.5 billion at the end of 2011, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, a 56 percent gain from its 2010 value of $4.8 billion.

"(The increase is) primarily attributable to continued improvement in our performance and achievement of the objectives outlined in our business plan," Chrysler said.

Chrysler reported a 2011 profit of $183 million after a $652 million loss in 2010. Its U.S. auto sales jumped 24.3 percent, outpacing the industry's 10.3 percent rise, helped by the launch of 16 new and improved models.

In May, Chrysler refinanced $7.6 billion of high-interest loans from the United States and Canada that were extended as part of the company's 2009 bailout. Fiat later bought the equity stakes held by the U.S. and Canadian governments.   Continued...

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne (R) answers reporters' questions next to Serbia's President Boris Tadic (2nd L) after the unveiling of the new Fiat 500L on the first media day of the Geneva Auto Show at the Palexpo in Geneva March 6, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse