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.

The executive's $1.7 million salary will remain unchanged this year, with the rest of his earnings coming via performance-based stock salary. Meanwhile, some 25 of the company's most highly compensated executives will also see their compensation limited for 2012. All told, the Treasury says executive pay dropped by around 12 percent from 2011 to 2012.

GM has warned meddling with executive pay could result in a talent exodus from the company, but so far, The Detroit Free Press reports only two leaders have walked away from the automaker. GM says the cuts may also make it difficult to hire new talent moving forward.

GM currently owes the U.S. Treasury around $25 billion.

How does Akerson's pay line up with other auto executives? Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne takes home a combined $22.2 million for his efforts both at the American automaker and Fiat while Ford CEO Alan Mulally earned an impressive $29.5 million in 2011.

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