There's a new wrinkle in GM's executive bonuses - restricted stock - and it deserves a rousing ovation. It ties the monetary value of the bonus to what GM and the executive do in the future, not to what they have done in the past.
Case in point: CEO Rick Wagoner was awarded 125,000 restricted units, worth about $5 million today. But Wagoner can't redeem those shares until he retires. In his case, that's as much as 15 years away, since he will be 50 on Feb. 9.
Auto executives are worthy of their wage and their bonuses. But there's no harm in holding their feet to the fire to ensure continuing peak performance.