GM CEO made over $3M in '08 despite big losses
DETROIT (AP) — His company lost $30.9 billion last year and it's relying
on government loans to stay in business, yet General Motors (GM) CEO
Rick Wagoner received a pay package worth $14.9 million in 2008.
Roughly $11.9 million of Wagoner's compensation was in stock and options
that have plummeted to $682,000 in value as GM's shares have dropped
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The troubled automaker, which has lost $82 billion over the last three
years, disclosed the figures in its annual report filed Thursday with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.
GM also disclosed Thursday that its auditors have serious doubts about
its ability to keep operating and it may have to seek bankruptcy
protection if it can't execute its turnaround plan.
Wagoner's total compensation last year was 5.5% less than the $15.7
million he got in 2007.
He received no cash incentive compensation last year, but his salary
increased 35% from $1.6 million in 2007 because it was restored to its
level before 2006, when he agreed to reduce his salary for two years as
part of the company's restructuring efforts.
This year, Wagoner has agreed to accept a salary of $1 as part of GM's
request for government help. The company has received $13.4 billion in
federal loans and is seeking up to $30 billion as it tries to weather
the worst auto sales downturn in 27 years.
Wagoner, 55, received $2.1 million in salary last year, $836,000 in
other compensation, and stock and options that the company valued at
$11.9 million when they were granted in March 2008.
But 1 million options that had been valued at more than $7.1 million are
now worthless because GM shares are trading below $2, far less than the
$23.13 price at which Wagoner could exercise the options to buy GM
shares. Other shares granted as part of long-term incentive programs
lost most of their value.
GM's stock price plunged 87% in 2008 from its level of $24.89 at the end
of 2007. In midday trading Thursday, the shares fell 38 cents, or 17.4%,
Wagoner's other compensation included $160,000 for personal use of
corporate aircraft, $270,000 for personal security, $11,500 for use of
company vehicles, and $12,000 for financial and estate planning.
Use of the aircraft drew the ire of many in Congress late last year when
Wagoner and his counterparts at Chrysler and Ford Motor flew to
Washington on separate corporate jets to seek government loans. When GM
signed its government loan agreement Dec. 31, it agreed to get rid of
the private aircraft that it had been leasing.
Wagoner, Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson and Chief Financial
Officer Ray Young now fly first-class on commercial airlines. Other
senior leadership executives fly business class for international travel
and coach for domestic flights, GM said in its annual report.
The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives'
salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred
compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted
during the year. The calculations don't include changes in the present
value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals
companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.