GM Says CEO Dan Akerson's 2011 Salary of $7.7 Million Not Enough


General Motor’s CEO Dan Akerson made roughly $0.85 for each vehicle the company sold in 2011, The Associated Press reports. His compensation package totals $7.7 million, which the automaker says is too low compared to what CEOs of other companies make. GM made the claim in its annual proxy statement released yesterday.

Akerson's $7.7 million includes a $1.7 million salary and $5.95 million of stock awards. By comparison, Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally earned $29.5 million during 2011, or approximately $5 for every car and truck the automaker sold during 2011. For four months as GM's chief in 2010, Akerson’s pay was $2.53 million. GM says his pay puts him in the bottom 25 percent of what comparable CEOs earn.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury announced it would freeze pay packages for several GM executives including Akerson. The Treasury can control GM’s executive compensation due to terms stemming for the bailout loan from 2009. To date, the Treasury still holds a 26.5-percent stake in GM.

“These constraints do not permit us to reward our senior executives in a manner reflecting the level of achievement of our business plan,” GM said in its filing. “Appropriately recognizing and rewarding these key contributors and competing with other large, multinational employers to attract and retain fresh talent with critical skill sets is extremely difficult within the compensation constraints.”

GM profited $7.6 billion during 2011, making it one of the strongest years since the automaker’s post-bailout recovery. Today, however, GM's stock is valued at about $23.4 per share, which is lower than the $33-per-share IPO price. The stock price would need to jump to $53 per share for the government to recover its losses, which currently totals $21.7 billion. Earlier this year, Akerson made a personal investment in his company by purchasing $940,000 worth of GM stock.

Source: The Associated Press

Its not like Mulally got a check for 29 mil. There are restrictions on when and how he can cash in his stock. If his "One Ford" and borrowing 21 billion before the bubble burst had not worked, his stock wouldn't be worth the paper its printed on. So its not like he was guaranteed almost 30 mil. If the company did well, he did well. Very well.
Currently the US government is holding a loss of $21 billion dollars on GM stock, that may not be Ackerman's fault but he knew what he was getting into.
I could see where the constraints might crimp your style compared to the over-inflated compensation of your competitors. If you want the constraints removed, buy the stock back at $55. Otherwise, STFU and focus on making your improvements permanent so the stock price goes up and you get back your independence.

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