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Ram Trucks chief sues own company after pay cut by 90 per cent

Reid Bigland is taking his employer to court
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist

6 Jun 2019 • 2 min read

The boss of Ram Trucks has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against parent company FCA, accusing the Italian-American auto giant of cutting his pay by 90 per cent in retaliation for his cooperating with a federal investigation into the car maker.

Reid Bigland - a 22-year veteran of FCA, and also the CEO of the company's Canadian business - filed the lawsuit after accusing the company of drastically reducing his pay despite the Ram brand's significant sales success in the USA.

According to the Financial Times, Bigland is accusing FCA of withholding bonus payments and shares that would have made up some 90 per cent of his earnings in 2018. Bigland says the payments were withheld as punishment after the Ram boss cooperated with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the company.

That investigation occurred in 2016, when the company was made to revise its claimed sales figures over a five-year period after being sued by dealers who complained they were being forced to submit incorrect sales reports. FCA denied the allegations.

In a statement to the paper, FCA said: “Mr Bigland’s eligibility for his award remains subject to that determination and completion of a board-level evaluation of issues that are the subject to governmental investigations (as previously disclosed by FCA) in which FCA continues to co-operate.

"Beyond that, it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing litigation or internal compensation processes.”

Is the Ram boss right to take FCA to court? Let us know in the comments.