GM gives its first female CEO $14.4 million, a 60% pay raise over her predecessor

Justin Hyde

Last week, much tumult came forth from the Internet over the supposed pay of Mary Barra, the new chief executive of General Motors. While such dust-ups typically concern how much a CEO earns, these critics suggested Barra, the first woman to run a global automaker, had been shortchanged compared to her male predecessors.

I said it wasn't true. GM said so too, and today it spelled out just how untrue, announcing that Barra's compensation would total $14.4 million in 2014 — a combination of $1.6 million in salary, $2.8 million in short-term incentives and long-term compensation of $10 million, mostly in stock. That's a 60 percent increase over the $9 million GM gave former chairman and chief executive Dan Akerson, for a company that reported a profit of $3.8 billion for 2013.

So to be clear: The first female CEO of an automaker will get a pay raise for taking the job. In fact, she'll earn slightly more than the median compensation package for a CEO of a company in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, and roughly 282 times median U.S. annual household income. Rest easy, Internet.

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