General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson got a 44% increase in total compensation last year, taking home a total of $11.1 million in total compensation.
That news, detailed in a federal filing, comes after GM tried to downplay earlier reports that the executive was looking for a big pay hike despite the limits imposed by the terms of the maker’s 2009 federal bailout.
Akerson continued to receive a base salary of “just” $1.7 million last year, the same as in 2011. The big jump came in stock awards that rose by 57%, year-over-year, to $9.3 million. That includes $2 million in restricted stock options he won’t be able to cash out on until at least 2014. The executive also received $70,149 in miscellaneous compensation, up from $55,514 in 2012.
Akerson and other top GM executives are subject to pay caps under the provisions of the so-called TARP, or Troubled Asset Relief Program, approved by Congress in 2008 to rescue the banking industry following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The pay caps have proved highly controversial, opponents claiming it actually hurts the companies subject to oversight. GM CEO Akerson, for example, has claimed he gave up “more than” $100 million when he left the investment fund the Carlyle Group to run GM in 2010.
On the other hand, “While taxpayers struggle to overcome the recent financial crisis and look to the U.S. government to put a lid on compensation for executives of firms whose missteps nearly crippled the U.S. financial system, the U.S. Department of the Treasury continues to allow excessive executive pay,” said a recent report from the office of Christy Romero, the special inspector general overseeing the $700 billion TARP.
Akerson’s pay falls well below that of Alan Mulally, the Ford Motor Co. CEO taking home $21 million as part of a 2012 package including salary, bonuses and stock options. Mulally actually saw his compensation dip from the $29.5 million in 2011.
The other Detroit Big Three CEO Sergio Marchionne is no longer subject to the TARP pay cap, Chrysler LLC having paid off its federal bailout. Marchionne has declined to take any salary since joining Chrysler in 2009 but has claimed millions in stock options and other compensation including a housing allowance.
GM’s proxy statement also noted that Chief Financial Officer Dan Amman’s salary rose 9.1% last year, to $750,000, with total compensation up 36.5% to $4.8 million, thanks to stock awards.
Stephen Girsky, the maker’s vice chairman and the overseer of its turnaround plan in Europe, received a 2.6% increase in total compensation, to $5.4 million, though his salary was flat at $600,000.
Timothy Lee, vice president of global manufacturing and president of international operations, received $6.6 million during his first year in those posts. That included a base salary of $750,000, stock awards of $4.7 million, and $619,851 in miscellaneous compensation.
Mary Barra received $5.4 million during what was also her first year as the senior vice president of global product development. That included $750,000 in salary, $3.9 million in stock and $28,445 in other compensation.
GM noted that for 2012, global sales rose to 9.29 million, a 2.9% increase – though the US maker slipped to second globally, as Toyota regained its position as the worldwide best-seller. GM’s net income, meanwhile, fell 32.7%, to $6.19 billion.
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