GM Submits Executive Compensation Plan to Obama Administration

August 12, 2009 - 4:29 AM
GM, along with Chrysler Group LLC, several banks and other entities, must submit plans to compensate its 100 highest-paid employees by Thursday.
Washington (AP) - General Motors Co. said Tuesday it had submitted its executive compensation proposal to the Obama administration, complying with a requirement for companies bailed out by the federal government.
 
GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson declined to elaborate on the proposal for compensating Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson and other top executives. GM, along with Chrysler Group LLC, several banks and other entities, must submit plans to compensate its 100 highest-paid employees by Thursday.
 
The Obama administration has appointed Kenneth Feinberg to oversee compensation at the companies. Feinberg could reject pay plans he deems excessive, and he is expected to take 60 days to review the proposals.
 
GM received about $50 billion from the government and emerged from bankruptcy on July 10. In a regulatory filing on Friday, the company said its 2009 executive compensation plans were under development and all compensation plans for senior executives would be "developed and implemented consistent with" the direction of Feinberg, the Treasury Department's special master.
 
Prior to its bankruptcy, GM reduced salary and benefits for many top executives. Former CEO Rick Wagoner agreed to accept a salary of $1 as part of the Detroit automaker's request for assistance.
 
Henderson's base salary as chief operating officer was cut 30 percent to about $1.3 million when GM accepted government loans. Henderson received compensation valued at about $8.7 million in 2008.
 
Henderson, speaking to reporters in Warren, Mich., was asked whether the compensation requirements have hampered GM.
 
"Hampered? I guess you could use that term. We still don't know how we're going to pay people. They know what their salary is but not the (compensation) package," he said.
 
Chrysler, which received about $15.5 billion from the government, said in a statement that the automaker was "committed to compliance with the requirements in the loan agreements" but it would "strive to respect our employees' privacy by maintaining the confidentiality of individual compensation information."
 
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AP Auto Writer Kimberly S. Johnson in Warren, Mich., contributed to this report.