Bailout Watch 379: Who Owns Chrysler and How Much Does CEO Nardelli Make?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 379 who owns chrysler and how much does ceo nardelli make

Cerberus owns Chrysler. OK, perhaps “controls” is a better word. Cerberus bought Chrysler from Daimler by convincing a group of investors that the ailing American automaker was, one way or another, a money spinner. Well, it sure didn’t turn out that way. The U.S. taxpayer is now keeping ChryCo in business. Or not. On Monday, nine days before its next visit to the federal bailout buffet, Chrysler will close its Conner Ave. plant (MI) and “idle” Sterling Heights, MI; Brampton, ON; and Belvidere, IL. “The shutdowns will last for at least a week,” reports. “With the company evaluating whether or not to reopen them on a weekly basis.” Flip a coin? Meanwhile, we, the people footing the bill, don’t know whose investment we’re protecting with our tax dollars. Foreign nationals? Bailout banks? Former government officials? Current government officials? Other, more profitable automakers? I’ve made dozens of phone calls. Nothing. Not a word. So I’ve called Senator Corker’s office for help. Nothing. Not a word. [E-mail here.] Meanwhile, Cerberus may yet be forced into the open, thanks to a new exec pay limitation clause on the next round of bailout bucks (not retroactive for some reason). So, how much does CEO Bob Nardelli make?

Nobody knows. We know that he’s not paid a salary per se. When Corker asked Nardelli to take a $1 a year pay pledge, he readily agreed. And then let slip that he doesn’t get a salary. So what DOES he get?

We continue to hear from our sources that Nardelli put as much as $50m of his own money into Chrysler when Daimler off-loaded the hollow shell on the smartest guys in the room. Perhaps Nardelli’s compensation is tied to his stake in the company. Daimler now values their 19 percent stake in Chrysler at . . . zero. Perhaps Mr. Nardelli is in petard-hoisting hell.

I doubt it. The Washington Post provides no answers, but plenty of questions.

Chrysler’s spokesman Stuart Schorr said the company’s executives are willing to abide by the administration’s new pay limits in order to get government help.

“We will continue to work with the Treasury Department to determine what new steps, if any, will be required to continue to comply with executive compensation requirements of our Treasury Department loan agreement terms,” he said.

The bottom line:

Chrysler officials declined to comment yesterday on how much Nardelli is making beyond his salary.

[If any of TTAC’s Best and Brightest can help us uncover the investors behind Chrysler, please contact me ASAP (]

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2 of 21 comments
  • BDB BDB on Feb 08, 2009

    "We are the face the public understands.Second, about hating salespeople. YOU…YOU…work on the floor for a few years…and then address the issue." On that note, this Edmunds article was really interesting!

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Feb 08, 2009

    We all know Chrysler is not worth saving. Those working there should have known for at least the last 18 months that their jobs are living on borrowed time. As for the dealers, sorry guys, I don't have much sympathy for you. Years, decades even, of shoddy customer service and slight of hand sales have made most of us skeptical of you. Sorry, you dug your own grave.

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