GM hikes Akerson's 2011 pay to $7.7 million
DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Dan Akerson's overall compensation nearly tripled to $7.7 million last year, reflecting a pay raise for his first full year as chairman and CEO, the automaker said in its annual proxy statement filed today.
Last year, GM paid Akerson a base salary of $1.7 million and $5.9 million in stock awards, GM's filing says. Akerson became CEO on Sept. 1, 2010, and became chairman on Jan. 1, 2011.
Akerson led GM to a record $7.6 billion net profit for 2011 while gaining market share in the United States and globally.
Annual pay for Akerson and other GM executives is restricted by the U.S. Treasury Department, which still holds 31.9 percentof GM's outstanding common shares as a result of the automaker's 2009 federal bailout.
In its filing, GM said Akerson's pay "remains below the 25th percentile for executives in comparable positions" because of the Treasury's limits, "despite his significant contributions to operating performance and outstanding leadership."
In comparison, Ford CEO Alan Mulally's overall compensation in 2011 rose 11 percentto $29.5 million.
This month, the Treasury Department said it would freeze Akerson's 2012 compensation at the 2011 level. The government had estimated his 2011 salary at $9 million, below the $7.7 million that GM disclosed today.
Other top GM executives saw their total compensation climb last year. Vice Chairman Steve Girksy's compensation rose 44 percent, to $5.3 million; former Vice Chairman Tom Stephens, who retired this month, saw his compensation rise 48 percent, to $8.3 million.
Dan Ammann, who took over as CFO in early 2011, was paid $3.5 million, including $2.8 million in stock awards.
In its filing, GM said adequately rewarding its executives is "extremely difficult within the compensation constraints" imposed by the Treasury department.
GM's filing says the government dictates the compensation of GM's 75 top earners, calling it "not competitive with peer group or market practices."
GM executives consistently have said that they have no control over when the government will sell its stake in the automaker.
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