By Deepa Seetharaman
March 6 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Alan Mulally was awarded shares in the No. 2 U.S. automaker whose value has risen more than six-fold since the depths of the financial crisis, according to a company regulatory filing on Tuesday.
Mulally received 2.9 million shares for his performance in 2009, excluding shares withheld by Ford to pay taxes, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In 2009, the value of those shares was $5.6 million. As of Tuesday's close, their worth is $34.5 million.
"Our compensation philosophy is to align the interests of our leadership with those of our shareholders," Ford spokesman Jay Cooney said. "To do this, we put the vast majority of their compensation at risk through performance-based grants."
Mulally's compensation emerged as a flashpoint in contract talks with the United Auto Workers last year. Bob King, the union's president, described Mulally's $26.5 million pay package for 2010 as "morally wrong" when some workers were being paid about $15 an hour.
Ford workers eventually approved a contract that did not provide a raise in base pay but included signing bonuses that were richer than the packages given to General Motors Co or Chrysler Group LLC workers.
Mulally hit nearly all of his performance targets in 2009, when U.S. auto sales fell to their lowest in nearly three decades and GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.
But the shares earmarked for his performance in 2009 could only be vested after two years. The stock shot up during that time as Ford's sales and financial performance improved.
Ford shares were $1.96 apiece at the time the award was granted, Cooney said. They closed at $12.09 on Tuesday.
According to Tuesday's filing, Mulally was awarded 4.8 million shares for his performance in 2009. Of that amount, nearly 2 million shares were taken out by Ford to pay taxes.
He now owns of 5.6 million Ford shares, excluding other stock options and restricted units.