When General Motors' top executive Mary Barra broke through the automotive glass ceiling to become the industry's first major female CEO, it was heralded as a long-overdue decision that highlighted the fact that the auto industry is still a quite bit stodgy. That was underscored late Friday when GM released how much it will pay Barra for taking on this huge job – and it's not a heartwarming figure.

Barra starts with a base salary of $1.6 million, $100,000 less per year than outgoing CEO Dan Akerson made in the last two years. She could also get up to $2.8 million as part of a short-term incentive plan, and another $1 million in a stock offering. In a statement released Friday, which you can read below, the automaker said Barra could get more money later in the year, if the GM board opts to give her a bigger bonus as part of its long-term incentive plan.

Surely no one should weep for someone making $4.4 million in a year. That's a good chunk of cash. And there's a good chance GM's board could opt to lavish Barra and make her richer than Bill Gates. But it's striking that the company decided to make her base salary $100 grand less than the man she replaces. And, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Akerson will continue drawing a larger base salary than Barra in 2014, even though he's just working as a consultant.

Time will tell whether GM's gender pay gap will remain. For now, Barra's salary would put her as the 26th best compensated CEO in the auto industry, according to research by Automotive News, just behind Thomas Lynch, CEO of TE Connectivity.
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GM Statement Regarding 8-K Filing of Barra and Ammann Compensation

DETROIT -- General Motors today filed a form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission outlining a portion of the 2014 compensation for newly appointed CEO Mary Barra and President Dan Ammann.

According to the filing, a part of Barra's 2014 compensation will total $4.4 million, comprised of $1.6 million in salary and $2.8 million under the company's short-term incentive plan. Also for 2014, a part of Ammann's compensation will total just over $2 million, comprised of $900,000 in salary and $1.125 million under the company's short-term incentive plan.

These partial totals for Barra and Ammann do not include compensation that could be awarded under the company's long-term incentive plan, which is subject to approval by GM stockholders at the company's Annual Meeting in June. Details of the long-term plan and the remaining portion of Barra's and Ammann's compensation under it will be listed in GM's 2014 proxy filing to be released in April.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com


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  • 61 Comments
      kevsflanagan
      • 11 Months Ago
      2 things... 1) Wow 100k less than the out going guy who is staying on as a advisor and shall make more? Not sorry but that is a slap in the face woman or not. 2) One day I would like to see a weeks activities of a automotive CEO. Yanno to see why the high pay is required and such.
      DawgByte
      • 11 Months Ago
      "it was heralded as a long-overdue decision that highlighted the fact that the auto industry is still a quite bit stodgy. " Really? How many women do you know who are into or know a damn thing about cars? Not many! One of these days America will get over promoting people based on color, gender or sexual orientation and on merit, knowledge and leadership skills. I don't know this woman and I don't care, but one look and I'm instantly reminded of Carly Fiorina, HP's first female C.E.O. - total disaster!
        Sean Conrad
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DawgByte
        Do you think the stereotype of women not knowing much about cars might be because they aren't encouraged to give a damn about cars in the way that men are? Nah... must just be because women are dumb.
        Larry Litmanen
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DawgByte
        She can use the sexual orientation card next time GM misses the earnings. Sea Urchin
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DawgByte
        [blocked]
      ngiotta
      • 11 Months Ago
      For all of the "gender pay-gap" nonsense the news outfits report these days, this is nothing short of fair. She has less experience at the helm than the person she is replacing. Not sure why her making less on the first day of her new job has anything to do with gender. Although, in today's society that is rampant with race-baiters, I guess gender-baiters should be expected as well.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ngiotta
        He'll make more as a consultant then her full time.
          ngiotta
          • 11 Months Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          Exactly. He has to do his old job still to bring her up to speed. Consultants always make more than standard employees. It makes sense she would make less while the company has to also pay a pricey consultant. Happens all the time in large corporations when someone new takes the helm.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 11 Months Ago
      I am glad that a woman is at the helm now. But when are we going to see a Chinese person as the CEO of GM? After all- China is GM's biggest market now and probably in the foreseeable future. It would make perfect sense to appoint a Chinese person as a CEO so that GM could focus on dominating the Chinese market.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Using the same thinking, I guess that the next President of the United States should be Chinese too, since the US owes them more $$$ than any other nation. Why do people say such stupid things?
      i.own.your.ass
      • 11 Months Ago
      they've got enough tax money to pay themselves for years..... only happens in America
        Sean Conrad
        • 11 Months Ago
        @i.own.your.ass
        For one, no. And for two, aaahahahahahahhahaahahaha. "only happens in America". Yeah... sure... ok.
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Sean Conrad
          [blocked]
      SCOTT
      • 11 Months Ago
      No person on this planet is worthy of a 4.4 million dollar salary. Regardless of education and stature, makes you want to rush out and purchase an over priced Government Motors product.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @SCOTT
        It's not a $4.4 Million salary. It's $1.6 Million salary plus incentives. If the company doesn't reach the goals tied to those incentives, all she makes is $1.6 Million. Still a ton of money to be certain, but be accurate. And really...you are still working that whole "Government Motors" angle?
        VL00
        • 11 Months Ago
        @SCOTT
        "Government Motors" - Hey, moron, the Government sold its shares. Get a clue.
        richard
        • 11 Months Ago
        @SCOTT
        "Government Motors?"
          • 11 Months Ago
          @richard
          [blocked]
      Teleny411
      • 11 Months Ago
      GM should not be paying anyone 4.4 mill, let alone several people. I see in the reorganization that they did not bring execs salaries into line with their competitors. This is welfare for the rich.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Teleny411
        Do you have any idea how much Ford pays Mulally? This doesn't even come close!
        Pj Taintz
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Teleny411
        envy much? What happened to the america where we all aspired to be rich one day?? it seems it used to be work as hard as you can and you can make it now it seems its do as little as possible, the government wil ltake care of you
          Teleny411
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          More like do nothing or driving a company into bankruptcy and a goverment bailout-but still get paid way more than execs in your compiteyion's company; pay no taxes through loop holes, & give yourself golden parachutes.
          VL00
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          "now it seems its do as little as possible, the government wil ltake care of you" Ha! Its the elites that never suffer. Balmer cut the value of Microsoft in HALF, and still walked away with $700 Million dollars.
      a.m.
      • 11 Months Ago
      A CEO's salary should be $1. Let profit sharing be their pay for proper performance. But I have worked with Barra. She is proof that you need not talent, but profiting from others who worked with or around you to gain credit and move up. Neither her or Reuss were good choices for top spot. Akerson was just a puppet on the Fed's dime. But GM is going today on the backs of it current and former workers - washing away years of sins in bankruptcy, and at the expense of taxpayers. As a former engineer put on the curb when they were terminating engineers during the crash, loss of retirement and stock being worthless, ect - I hope all the executives over the years that brought this pain and suffering to all get nothing more than a reality 'check'.
        Jobu
        • 11 Months Ago
        @a.m.
        A CEO should make 1 Million. That's quite a statement. What about for one of the most complex tans largest companies in the world? 1 million? What about Larry across the block from me that owns his own auto body repair shop? 1 Million (he is officially CEO, after all). What if a CEO was once upon a time charged with discriminating against a gay or a Muslim? You still want to pay him 1 Million? What of the given companie's total revenue and Operating profit were both well below $100,000.00? This salary would bankrupt the poor company, no? See this is the thing, people like you who live in this stupid fantasy world of fairness have absolutely no grip on reality, or how the world works. I'm this case, GM offered Barra a salary, and she accepted it. Which one is guilty of greed in your book? Either eligible for jail time? When are you folks going to wake the hell up and realize the government cannot set salaries. People are paid exactly what the hiring company feels their skills are worth for a given position. End of story. Fairness will/can never play a role here so long as you and I disagree on what fair is.
          Matt
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Jobu
          Umm, he said $1 not $1 Million dollars.
      Bill Coulter
      • 11 Months Ago
      Generous Motors. Remember ,, the Old GM? It paid multi millions to Roger Smith even after retirement. The boobs who run GM are on a high now. This promotion may be more a stunt then a change of attitude. IMO GM arrogance hasn't changed , this is just a beard.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 11 Months Ago
      Executives at SUCCESSFUL companies like Toyota, Honda, Mazda will make about 1/10 the amount of these overpaid suits that killed Detroit and relied on USA taxpayers to bail them out.
        richard
        • 11 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Boo friggity hoo Asia boy.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Mazda is a very bad example. Their money troubles have been very well documented the last few years. Considering GM's revenues, this salary is not out of line.
      mdcwave
      • 11 Months Ago
      Good, all for it. Now how about making some decent cars that people actually want to buy?
        bootsnchaps60
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mdcwave
        Wow, what a concept!! You're not happy with rebadged Opels, Daewoos, and Holdens as the primary offerings?
          • 11 Months Ago
          @bootsnchaps60
          [blocked]
        Sean Conrad
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mdcwave
        They sold 2.78 million cars in the US in 2013, more than any other automaker. What makes you think people don't want to buy their cars?
      Avinash Machado
      • 11 Months Ago
      Still quite a high salary.
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