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GM’s Akerson Takes Home $11.1 Mil, up 44%.

CEO adds millions in stock to base pay.

by on Apr.25, 2013

GM CEO Dan Akerson with the Chevrolet Volt.

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.

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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.

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Auto Industry Driving the American Economy, Says GM CEO

GM goes after the best-and-brightest.

by on May.14, 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson.

The auto industry has given the U.S. economy a major lift in recent months, GM chairman and chief executive officer Dan Akerson told new graduates of the Columbia University’s business school.

That’s a big shift from just a few years ago, when it was one of the forces of economic decline.  And Akerson’s speech clearly was aimed at convincing the best-and-brightest of the school’s students that they should be taking a closer look at Detroit as they begin their promising careers.

“The auto industry has gone from being an anchor on the economy to being the wind in its sails… in fact, we’re one of the few bright spots,” said Akerson, who joined GM after it emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy. “We’re adding jobs and investing in America, just as America invested in us.”

Since mid-2009, GM has announced investments of more than $7.1 billion in 30 U.S. facilities and created or retained nearly 18,000 American jobs, the executive noted

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“No one, not even the most enthusiastic supporters, predicted this three years ago: The auto industry is adding jobs and driving the economy again,” Akerson said.  “And that’s because two very different Administrations both had the wisdom to understand how important the auto industry is to our economy, and had the courage to act.

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GM Planning Another Restructuring in Europe

Did GM make a mistake keeping German brand?

by on May.03, 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson testifying before Congress earlier this year.

Fresh on the heels of another big loss on the other side of the Atlantic, General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson confides that another big shake-up is coming in Europe.

The executive, interviewed on public radio’s The Takeaway, didn’t detail specifics of the plan but it would be the latest in a series of efforts to staunch the hemorrhaging losses at GM Europe.  Once forecast to be back in the black this year, GM Europe lost $256 million for the January to March quarter, a heavy setback at a time when other key units, including North America, are improving their profitability.

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“It’s a 4-alarm fire,” Akerson told Takeaway co-host Celeste Headlee, adding that GM’s top management is “doing everything we can to get it back in the black.”  That means, Akerson said, “We’re going to have to restructure again.”

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GM Earnings Surge to $3.2 Billion

One-time earnings help GM push past rival Ford in Q1.

by on May.05, 2011

GM is "on plan," says CEO Dan Akerson.

With its bottom line boosted by one-time gains from asset sales, General Motors Co. more than tripled first-quarter earnings, posting a $3.2 billion, $1.77 a share, profit as the revenue from its global business grew by 15%.

“We are on plan,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO.

“GM has delivered five consecutive profitable quarters, thanks to strong customer demand for our new fuel-efficient vehicles and a competitive cost structure that allows us to leverage our strong brands around the world and focus on driving profitable automotive growth,” Akerson said in a statement Thursday.

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However, GM’s financial statement also showed that the company’s struggling European operations remained in the red and profits from the company’s European and South American operation declined in the first quarter of 2011.

The first quarter figures reflect GM’s controversial decision to heavily increase its incentive spending in the United States.  Though costly, the move appeared to pay off, boosting home market sales by 26%, to 592,545 cars, trucks and crossovers during the period.

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Discounting Added 100,000 Sales, Claims GM CEO

Not a “predictable competitor,” Akerson says.

by on Apr.20, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson: not a "predictable competitor."

General Motors sold as many as 100,000 more cars than it might have, during the first quarter, by unexpectedly increasing its incentives, CEO Dan Akerson said at an industry conference marking the start of the New York Auto Show.

The maker surprised analysts and competitors alike when it boosted rebates and other givebacks by about $400 a vehicle during the early days of the new year, a time when rising demand led some makers to curb their incentives.

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“I don’t want to be a predictable competitor,” explained Akerson.  “I don’t want the other guy to know exactly what I’m doing.”

Industry observers have questioned the move, which cuts into the maker’s cash flow and potential profitability.  But the added demand more than justifies the cost, the GM CEO asserted.

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GM “Humbled,” And Determined Not To Repeat Past Mistakes, Says CEO

Akerson tells Washington audience of GM’s new goals.

by on Dec.10, 2010

A "humbled" GM CEO Dan Akerson.

A “humbled” General Motors is determined not to repeat the mistakes that led it into bankruptcy, Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson told an audience at the Economic Club of Washington, today.

It was the CEO’s first public appearance in the nation’s capital since last month’s successful IPO took GM public, again, and began the process of reducing the U.S. Treasury’s holdings in what critics continue to call “Government Motors.”

“We are humbled by our near-death experience,” said the former Navy officer, who took the reigns as GM Chairman and CEO earlier this year.  Akerson joined the General Motors board after the company emerged from Chapter 11 protection in July 2009.

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Akerson traveled to Washington under very different circumstances from his predecessor, Rick Wagoner, who appeared – along with the CEOs of Chrysler and Ford – before a clearly hostile Congressional committee, late in 2008, asking for a federal bailout.  Wagoner was forced out by the White House, in March 2009, as a provision for providing that assistance, which ultimately totaled more than $50 billion.

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GM Needs Years to Repay Taxpayers, Says New CEO

Akerson opens possibility of rewarding UAW workers for help during bankruptcy.

by on Sep.16, 2010

There's a need for speed at General Motors, says new CEO Dan Akerson.

Though General Motors will stage its long-awaited IPO, later this year, don’t expect that to raise enough money to completely repay the roughly $50 billion taxpayers invested in the troubled automaker to pull it out of bankruptcy, cautioned GM’s new chief executive officer.

Though Dan Akerson, who took over as CEO on Sept. 1, declined to directly discuss GM’s upcoming initial public offering he appeared to rule out the possibility that all of the government’s 60.1% stake in the carmaker will be put on the block immediately.

“It is the goal of this company to return that money to taxpayers,” declared Akerson, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.  But he quickly cautioned, “I don’t think that will happen in one fell swoop.”  It will move likely take “a couple of years,” he added.

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A life-long Republican who donated a significant amount of money to the Republican Party during the presidential campaign, in 2008, Akerson nonetheless said he was very appreciative of the GM bailout, which he insisted should not have seen as a “political decision,” but was rather something best viewed as in the best interest of the country.

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GM’s Akerson Goes Into Attack Mode

New CEO a proud and aggressive Republican, he reveals.

by on Sep.09, 2010

New CEO Dan Akerson wants GM in attack mode.

Anyone who expected new General Motors CEO Dan Akerson to take a low-key approach to running the company will likely be in for a surprise.  The new chief executive, who took the reins at GM barely a week ago, has already come out swinging, warning that the carmaker has to “get better,” and “be on the attack.”

Akerson also made it clear that despite the $50 billion in federal aid approved largely by the Obama Administration, he is a died-in-the-wool Republican.

The chief executive, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, held his first meeting with company employees alongside Ed Whitacre, who stepped down as CEO and handed control of GM to Akerson on September 1st.  Whitacre stays on as Chairman of the Board until December 31st, when Akerson gains that title, as well.

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“We need to be on the attack,” Akerson said during the session, which was telecast to employees around the company.  Noting that GM has made significant gains since it emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009, the new CEO stressed that, “We’re good right now, but we’ve got to get a lot better.”

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