GM CEO Dan Akerson

You wouldn't think $7.7 million is something to complain about, but then again, you're probably not in the running to be CEO of General Motors. Despite the fact that GM is no longer the largest company in the world – or, depending on whom you ask, even the largest carmaker – it's a big job. On most days, we imagine it's a pretty thankless one too. So when you compare the salary of GM CEO Dan Akerson to that of his cross-town rival at Ford, perhaps $7.7 million does seem like chump change compared to Alan Mullaly's 2011 compensation of $29.5 million.

And according to a report in The Detroit News, GM apparently isn't happy to see its CEO sitting in third place among Big Three CEOs when payday comes. GM's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday said that the company is having an "extremely difficult" time hiring qualified executives because of limits to compensation set by the U.S. Treasury Department. The Treasury has capped the amount Akerson and other execs can make as part of GM's 2009 bailout.

Here's a thought: Maybe GM just needs to do a better job emphasizing all the benefits that come with working for the General, like getting to drive a Chevrolet Volt gratis.