GM brings back stock options for execs

Part of an executive's compensation package often includes stock options. General Motors used to offer them to its top personnel, but hasn't done so since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. But now the Detroit automaker is putting stock options back on the table.

The Detroit News reports that GM is now issuing stock options to 300 of its executives. The practice is being implemented as part of a long-term incentive plan approved last year. Among those executives who will receive the option to buy shares in the company they help lead include CEO Mary Barra (2.6 million shares), president Dan Ammann (976k), executive vice president Mark Reuss (829k), CFO Chuck Stevens (623k), and Opel chief Karl-Thomas Neumann (585k).

In order for executives to exercise these stock options, however, GM will have to hit certain performance targets, and the executives must comply with certain conditions. For starters, they'll only be able to buy the stock above $31.32 per share, which is what the trading price closed at this past Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. And they won't be able to buy them just yet: the first 40 percent of the stock options will vest on February 15, 2017, the remaining 60 percent vesting in annual increments starting on the same date in 2018 – but only if GM's stock is performing better than the industry average. The executives will also have to conform to non-compete and non-solicitation contracts aimed at keeping the GM's management talent within the company.

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