AutoNation to pay new CEO Manley $1.3M in base salary, plus major stock incentives, benefits

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Incoming AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Manley will earn an annual base salary of $1.3 million and receive a $1.5-million cash sign-on bonus when he comes onboard Nov. 1, according to a regulatory filing late Tuesday.

AutoNation on Tuesday announced it had hired Manley, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and head of Americas for Stellantis, the company formed when FCA and PSA merged in January. Manley will replace outgoing and longtime AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson, who will retire from the post and from AutoNation’s board also on Nov. 1.

AutoNation’s board of directors hired Manley on Sept. 9, according to the filing. Manley on the same day entered into a three-year employment agreement with the auto retail giant that will automatically renew on his third anniversary date and annually after.

Manley collected total compensation of $14.45 million in 2019 as CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — his last full year in that position.

As part of his contract with the nation’s largest U.S. dealership group, Manley will have a chance to earn 200 percent of his annual base salary through an incentive award beginning in 2022, be granted $6.7 million in restricted stock units that vest over three years based on continued employment and stand to earn $7.2 million in stock awards annually through the company’s long-term incentive program, also starting in 2022.

Jackson as CEO for AutoNation also earned a $1.3 million annual salary.

Manley is subject to certain payments if he is fired by AutoNation without cause or if he resigns for good reason. He would have to repay the sign-on bonus if during the first year he leaves the company without good reason or is fired for cause.

Manley’s other perks — most of which are typical for the CEO of a large corpration — include an annual vehicle allowance of $45,000, the use of private company aircraft for business travel, relocation costs, up to $20,000 reimbursement for financial planning and tax planning and reimbursement of attorney fees up to $25,000 to negotiate his contract.

He is further eligible for possible paid personal security if there are “bona fide threats of physical harm” to Manley or his immediate family, the contract says.

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