Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is on track to be the highest-paid executive in Japan for the fourth time in five years. Ghosn's salary and bonuses last year rang the register to the tune of $9.8 million (995 million yen), and when stock dividends are added to the equation, the exec's total pay crested a billion yen. That represents a 0.7-percent increase over his pay from the previous year. Ghosn earned an additional $3.1 million as CEO of Renault.
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.
One would expect that as the CEO of one of the largest automakers in the world, the pay would be pretty darn competitive. And for the just-announced incoming CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, the financial compensation package could well be substantially rosier than it was for her predecessor. That's because she'll be the first exec at the company's helm since the federal government sold off its remaining interest in the company earlier this week.
In December, the US Treasury granted General Motors the rights for the company to once again buy corporate jets and for its executives to fly on them, but neither those execs nor the ones at Ally Financial will get any raises this year. The automaker, worried that top talent might leave for higher-paying pastures, reportedly sought a more "market-based approach to executive compensation" for 12 of its top 25 execs. Because the federal government still has stakes in both GM and Ally, though, the
The Detroit Free Press reports that the United States Treasury has exercised its power to put a cap on executive compensation at General Motors by freezing CEO Dan Akerson's pay at last year's levels. Akerson brought home a total of $9 million last year including salary, stock and restricted stock.
Chrysler has filed its annual financial report with the Security and Exchange Commission, and a few important tidbits have thus been revealed. For instance, company CEO Sergio Marchionne was paid exactly zero dollars last year in compensation for the role he played in rescuing Chrysler from the clutches of bankruptcy.
Last week, Chrysler was able to pay off its remaining $560 million in government debt. That's big news for Team Pentastar for many reasons, including reduced interest payments and increased control over its own future. Another, less publicized reward is that Chrysler no longer is required to adhere to the government's strict $500,000 executive pay cap, but that doesn't mean company brass can expect the fat checks to come rolling in.
Nissan, Japan's second-largest automaker, apparently believes it has a more talented executive staff than Toyota or Honda. According to company CEO Carlos Ghosn, Nissan delivers its shareholders "the best performance possible with the best talent."
There were some raised eyebrows after Ford CEO Alan Mulally raked in $26.5 million in 2010, even after the company realized a healthy profit and significantly improved sales. But while Mulally got a big check for being instrumental in the company's high-profile turnaround, he wasn't even the highest paid CEO in Michigan.
Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. and Chief Executive Alan Mulally have reportedly been given big-time bonuses by the Blue Oval for keeping things moving when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Mulally received $56.5 million worth of Ford stock before taxes and Ford got stock worth $42.4 million.
It's certainly tough to argue with the results of Alan Mulally's tenure as chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company. The product and financial resurgence that Mulally has led allowed Ford to be the only Detroit-based automaker to avoid going through bankruptcy. That success is reflected in the Ford CEO's paycheck as well.
To clarify, Bob Lutz is specifically talking about General Motors' top 25 execs. They are the ones who have seen their salaries decline by 31%, and their total remuneration packages go down by more than 20%. Said Lutz, "given the rigors of the job and demands and the accountability, I would say we are being paid way, way, way below market."
It's official: pay czar Kenneth Feinberg's executive compensation rules for companies yet to return their bailout funds means a cap of $500K for second-tier executives. Importantly, that number represents the total compensation allowed, but only 45 percent of it -- $225,000, can be in cold, hard ducats. Stock remuneration must be held or paid out over at least two years, and extracurricular perks like country club memberships and private jet escapades can be valued at no more than $25,000.
With General Motors in bankruptcy, it was only a matter of time before pensions came under scrutiny. The Detroit News is reporting that GM CEO Fritz Henderson has confirmed that executive pensions beyond $100,000 per year will be cut by two-thirds. Recently defenestrated boss Rick Wagoner will likely take the biggest hit of all – he was supposed to receive $22 million over five years as part of his retirement package, but that number will reportedly drop by up to $15 million.
The president decreed that CEOs running banks that received TARP funds couldn't be paid more than $500,000 each year. Chrysler isn't a bank, yet it has received TARP funds, and its CEO, Bob Nardelli, is well under the $500,000. Or at least, he might be. During recent Congressional hearings Nardelli was asked if he'd take a pay cut to $1 a year, and he said he would; the only thing is, he was already making $1 a year.
GM has seen plenty of tough times over the past few years, and even the company's top executives have felt the pinch. Executive pay was among the items cut as the General waded through multi-billion-dollar losses and immense market pressure, but after two years of cuts, the members of GM's top brass are getting their old salaries back. Top boss Rick Wagoner's base pay went as "low" as $1.1M but is now back to its 2003 level of $2.2M. Product czar Bob Lutz and money man Fritz Henderson also had t