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GM CEO Akerson Delivers Upbeat Assessment on Capitol Hill

“We’re fine,” he tells lawmakers as Treasury speeds up sell-off of GM stock.

by on Mar.21, 2013

GM CEO Dan Akerson.

General Motors is doing just “fine,” the maker’s chairman and CEO declared during a well-attended session with federal lawmakers at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, today.

While it might have been a bit like asking a student to pencil in their own grade, Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson provided dozens of members of Congress what he billed as a report card of the company nearly four years after it emerged from bankruptcy as part of an $85 billion bailout of the nation’s auto industry.

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Asked whether there was anything GM still needs from the government, Akerson answered, “No, we’re fine,” pointing to the profits GM has delivered since its run through Chapter 11, its stream of new products and the thousands of new jobs it has been adding.


Daimler’s Zetsche Gets New Contract – And Pay Cut

Daimler’s Zetsche Gets New Contract – And Pay Cut

by on Feb.27, 2013

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche gets a pay haircut. Photo by Len Katz.

The good news for Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche is that he’s got another three-year contract. But he’ll have to balance it against the nearly 6% pay cut he’s been ordered to take by the automaker’s supervisory board after the company missed its profit targets and palace intrigue at Daimler’s Stuttgart headquarters begins to intensify.

If misery loves company, Zetsche isn’t alone. As reported earlier this week, Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn took a nearly $4 million haircut, though his pay still came to nearly $20 million.

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And then there’s General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. Early reports indicated he was gunning for a 20% pay hike, which would bring his all-in compensation to $11 million. But with Washington bureaucrats criticizing recent increases in pay for executives at companies that survived the recession through federal bailouts, Akerson apparently decided he’s be comfy with the $9 million he got last year.


GM Execs’ Pay Frozen by Feds

Government overseer rejects pay hikes at companies bailed out by feds.

by on Apr.09, 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson testifying before Congress earlier this year.

Pity poor Dan Akerson.  He’s delivered the sort of financial turnaround seldom seen in the business world, taking once-bankrupt General Motors to multi-billion-dollar profitability.  But that won’t be enough to earn him a pay hike this year, according to the U.S. Treasury Dept., which has the final say on compensation for the maker’s top 25 executives.

Don’t pity Akerson too much.  He’ll still take home about $9 million this year, including $1.7 million in salary and another $7.3 million in various forms of stock compensation.  But that’s significantly less than his crosstown counterparts.  Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally got a $29.5 million pay package, the maker announced last week, on top of more than $57 million in long-term stock compensation.

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The federal government began overseeing the salaries of GM executives in 2009 along with those at other companies who received bailout funds under the so-called TARP program.  Most of those firms have since paid off their loans and are no longer subject to the review of a federal pay overseer.  But GM — which is still 26.5% owned by the Treasury – is still covered, as are Ally Financial, the former GMAC, and giant AIAG.


Big Payday for GM’s Akerson

But payout is a pittance compared to Ford’s Mulally.

by on Mar.20, 2012

GM Chairman and CEO Akerson won't be able to cash out for several years.

General Motors Chairman Dan Akerson is getting a big payday – though he won’t be able to cash the check for a couple of years.

Akerson, who also serves as GM’s chief executive has been awarded 76,249 shares of restricted stock, according to paperwork the maker has filed with the federal government –which still owns about a third of GM’s stock and has oversight on pay issues for the company’s top executives.

Based on the recent price range for GM stock that would work out to somewhere around $2 million — $1.94 million, to be precise, based on what the shares closed at on Monday.  But if GM stock comes close to the $33 it commanded when the maker held its November 2010 IPO that would add more than $500,000 to the payout.

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Akerson will have time to wait and see, as he cannot cash in for several more years.  He can convert two-thirds of the award to common stock on March 15, 2014 and the rest a year later.  And he will have to remain a continuous GM employee for the duration or risk losing his stock bonus.


GM Will Halve Its Platform, Engine Count

Saving could top $1 billion annually.

by on Aug.10, 2011

New GM car czar Mary Barra.

General Motors plans to slash by half the number of underlying platforms it uses worldwide by 2018, while ordering a similar reduction in the number of engine variants in its line-up, the maker says.

It’s all part of an effort to reduce costs by as much as $1 billion annually, according to GM CEO Dan Akerson, who says the maker wastes far much time, effort – and money – on projects that either get canceled or which could share their basics with other GM programs.

“We’d be deep — halfway, two-thirds of the way through – on a project and we’d cancel it due to a weakening economy,” said the former Navy officer, who took the helm at GM early last year.  “The start-stop, on-again-off-again, herky-jerky nature of our product development process was very disruptive and it produced poor results.”

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Indeed, it has meant that many vehicles come out late and then don’t live up to customer expectations, added GM’s new product development czar Mary Barra.

“We end up being second, third, or at the back of the pack,” she said.