GM Squashes Gender Pay Inequality Rumors: CEO Mary Barra Will Make 60% More Than Male Predecessor!

February 12, 2014  |  

General Motors (GM) grew sick and tired of rumors claiming CEO Mary Barra, hired last month, is being stiffed on her salary due to her gender. Straight from the horse’s mouth, the auto giant revealed that Barra will earn a whopping $14.4 million in stock bonuses and cash — that’s 60 percent higher than Dan Akerson, her male predecessor!

Previously, GM said that Barra would make $4.4 million, half of what Ackerson earned at $9 million. As Barra is the first female CEO of GM, the difference between the two pay packages caused a public outrage — the disparity screamed gender pay inequality. On the defensive, GM noted that this wasn’t the whole picture; Barra will receive an additional $10 million under a long-term compensation plan.

The automaker released this information two months earlier than expected — they wanted to squash the “misperceptions created by comparisons that used only a portion of Barra’s overall compensation,” GM said in a statement, according to Detroit Free Press.

Giving us more clarity on Barra’s salary, GM says that her 2014 compensation will look like this: $1.6 million in salary, $2.8 million in short-term stock incentives and $10 million in “long-term compensation.”

“The long-term portion,” as The Huffington Post states, “is subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual meeting in June.”

Ackerson’s pay package didn’t include a long-term incentive like Barra’s because he didn’t plan to stay long with GM — he announced his Jan. 15 retirement back in December. Akerson, as we’ve reported earlier, is now an outside senior adviser to GM; he’ll be paid $4.68 million in 2014.

Barra’s salary might place her among the three top paid CEOs in the auto industry, according to Bloomberg Business Week. Ford’s Alan Mulally takes home $21 million, Volkswagon’s Martin Winterkorn reels in $19.8 million, and Barra sits comfortably in third place — she’s followed by Diamler’s Deiter Zetsche at $11.1 million.

“As a new CEO, Mary’s total compensation is in line with her peer group and properly weighted so that most is at-risk,” General Motors Chairman Tim Solso said. “The company’s performance will ultimately determine how much she is paid.”

[Image: From left to right former chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, Gerald Johnson, North American VP of Manufacturing, and CEO Mary Barra. Johnson received the Black Engineer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award last Saturday. Akerman, the President’s Award.]

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