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.
- Mary Barra