Wagoner cuts pay by 25% to aid turnaround, well kind of

When possible, we like to cross-reference stories with other news sources before we report on them, and we've found this to be even more important when the topic at hand is hard data. When we came across a Reuters' story proclaiming that GM CEO Rick Wagoner was taking a 25-percent pay cut beginning in March of this year, a quick search of Google News revealed that, depending on the source, there could be a $370,000 discrepancy – and a possible raise for Wagoner.

[Sources: Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, GM, Reuters]

According to Reuters, Wagoner earned $2.2 million in January of 2006, but in an effort to aid in GM's turnaround, his salary has been reduced to $1.65 million beginning this month. Bloomberg and the Freep go into more detail, outlining all of the General's CEO's earnings, including $765,566 in "other compensation," plus stock options and "awards" that added an additional $6.67 million to his income. Wagoner's grand total for 2006: $10.2 million.

Running over to GM's corporate website, we were able to confirm those figures to a certain degree (see pic below), with Wagoner earning $1,283,333 in salary, stock awards totaling $3,574,594, option awards to the tune of $3,095,560, pension value changes of $1,468,100, plus $769,566 in "all other compensation." All that totals up to be $10,191,153 earned by Wagoner in 2006 (not quite $10.2M, but whatev).

Now, regardless of the faulty math, the question remains, what kind of salary cut did Wagoner really end up with? According to Bloomberg, the CEO took a voluntary pay cut of 50-percent in February of 2006 (in actuality it was 42-percent) – down from $2.2 million in 2005 to $1.28 million in 2006. Now, Wagoner's salary beginning in March of this year will be $1.65 million – or a 28-percent raise.

So, at the end of the day, did Wagoner receive a pay cut from last year's earnings or 2005's? We're a little unsure ourselves, but that's what we have.

Click to enlarge or follow the GM link above under "Sources" to download the .PDF.

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