By Dave Sebastian
Ford Motor Co.'s top 300 senior executives will defer 20% to 50% of their salaries for at least five months starting May 1, and executive Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. will defer his entire pay for the entire period, President and Chief Executive Jim Hackett wrote in a letter to employees.
The company is deferring merit-based salary increases, suspending overtime for salaried employees and freezing hiring for noncritical positions, Mr. Hackett said Thursday.
Mr. Hackett said work schedules and compensation could be temporarily reduced for those whose jobs can't be done effectively away from Ford facilities, and those people might be offered voluntary sabbaticals. The company will continue to provide health insurance, and those exposed to the coronavirus who must quarantine themselves for 14 days will receive paid time off, Mr. Hackett.
The company has tried to reduce costs by suspending dividends and has tapped into its credit lines for $15 billion in additional cash.
"Candidly, though, we need to do much more given the sharp drop-off in demand for new vehicles and the shutdown of our plants worldwide," Mr. Hackett said.
Mr. Hackett said the company's goal is to weather the crisis without eliminating jobs. "Having said that, if the effects of the coronavirus on the global economy and Ford go on for longer -- or are more severe -- than we currently anticipate, we may have to take tougher actions," Mr. Hackett said. "But not today."
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