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Bill Ford awards himself a salary - the first in five years

Bill Ford, executive chairman of family-controlled carmaker Ford, last week sold 3.4 million common shares and stock options in the company, worth around $28 million. 

He also received his first wage in five years, according to an email to Ford employees reported in the Wall Street Journal. Ford (pictured) pledged he would forgo his salary until the company was once again in a strong financial situation.

"Our Board of Directors' Compensation Committee has determined that these conditions have been met – particularly in light of our recent second-quarter financial report and our outlook for 2010 and 2011. As a result, I will now begin receiving compensation, including compensation earned since the beginning of 2008," Ford said in the email on 6 July.

In an attempt to show his confidence in the company, fourth-generation Ford took out personal loans to buy around $14 million in Ford common stock during some of its most difficult years between 2006 and 2008. His stock sale last week will go towards repaying these loans.

Despite suffering huge losses, Ford was the only big US carmaker not to receive state aid to stave off bankruptcy during the financial crisis. However, the company has managed to rebound well, last month recording second-quarter profits of $2.6 billion, its fourth consecutive quarter in the black.

The founding Ford family retains control of the publicly floated company through its ownership of 71 million Class B voting shares. In May, the Detroit-based automaker voted against abolishing the two-tier share system that would have put an end to the family's control over the group. (Continue reading here)

Bill Ford works alongside four other family members, including three fifth-generation cousins, at the company founded by his great-grandfather in 1903. 

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