GM's Barra to make at least $4.4M, Akerson could make more as advisor

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.

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