GM to pay Whitacre $1.7 million base salary; Henderson to consult
Whitacre's pay package includes stock valued at $5.3 million, payable over three years starting in 2012.
Whitacre also will receive $7.3 million in the form of company stock, GM said in a U.S. regulatory filing Friday. That includes stock valued at $5.3 million, paid out over three years beginning in 2012, and another $2 million in restricted shares.
The $1.7 million surpasses the amount Henderson was to have made as CEO before GM's executive pay came under the dominion of U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg. Whitacre had argued that the company's pay restrictions -- enforced because of its government bailout -- could prevent it from hiring adequate outside talent.
Whitacre, 68, took over from the ousted Henderson in December, first as interim CEO and starting Jan. 25 as official CEO. He was waiting for GM's directors and Feinberg to approve his salary. Whitacre had been earning a cash salary of $350,000 as chairman, said spokeswoman Noreen Pratscher.
GM said Henderson was hired Thursday as a consultant on a month-to-month basis, with the job to end some time this year. GM will pay Henderson $59,090 monthly to counsel GM on international operations. He will work about 20 hours per month and meet once a month with GM's international president, Tim Lee, or one of his representatives.
Henderson had made $950,000 in cash and $4.2 million in stock salary and long-term restricted stock as CEO after Feinberg first ruled on GM's executive pay in October.
GM is under Feinberg's dominion because of its government bailout. Before Feinberg's intervention, Henderson was to make $1.3 million in annual salary.
Sources have said GM's federal pay restrictions also hindered GM's search for an outside CEO, which ended last month when Whitacre took on the title on a non-interim basis.
Feinberg is in charge of setting pay for the top 25 executives at five companies that have received the largest taxpayer bailouts. He was appointed in June amid an outpouring of public anger that bailout recipients were receiving large payouts, even while being on a government lifeline.
GM, now more than 60 percent owned by the U.S. Treasury, took over $50 billion in U.S. taxpayer funding and emerged from a bankruptcy directed by the Obama administration in July. GM shares are not yet publicly traded.
Reuters contributed to this report.