GM execs take massive cut, Lutz, Wagoner see pay halved

General Motors' executives took a massive pay cut in 2005, after the board of directors not only voted to withhold bonuses, it also slashed base pay of some of the company's highest profile executives.

Among them, chairman and chief executive officer Rick Wagoner took  a 46 percent hit to his bottom line, from $10.1 million in 2004 to $5.5 million in 2005. Vice chairman and head of product development Bob Lutz took an even bigger percentage hit, and will take home $3 million this year (he raked in $6.5 million in 2004). John Devine, former GM vice president and CFO banked $3.9 million, down from $6.4 the year prior.

Wagoner's salary of $2.2 million didn't change in 2005, but he as part of a round of voluntary pay cuts this past February, the top executive will see his base number cut in half.

The figures came from GM's federal proxy report issued Friday, which sets the table for  discussions at the upcoming June 6 shareholder meeting. Among other things, investors will vote on six proposals, one of which calls for the repayment of executive performance bonuses awarded based upon faulty earnings reports (before accounting corrections forced a restatement). The board reportedly discounts such suggestions, arguing that antifraud legislation and rules already in place render such changes unnecessary.

Other shareholder ideas to be floated at the meeting include splitting the offices of chairman and CEO, banning the issuing of further stock options to GM employees, altering voting practices for the board of directors, and a call for a new report on the company's effect on global warming.

According to reports, the board opposes all of the above.

[Sources: The Detroit Free Press; General Motors]

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