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GM Says Chief Wagoner Was Paid $5.4 Million in 2008
General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner, working for $1 annually this year to keep U.S. government loans, had his total compensation cut to $5.4 million last year from $14.1 million in 2007.

Wagoner’s compensation included a salary of $2.1 million and he wasn’t paid a bonus, the Detroit-based automaker said in a regulatory filing today. The largest U.S. automaker lost $30.9 billion last year, the second biggest shortfall in the company’s 100-year history.

GM is cutting executive pay and will eliminate 47,000 jobs this year as part of a restructuring required to keep $13.4 billion in U.S. loans. Wagoner, 56, needs to convince the U.S. Treasury to lend the carmaker as much as $16.6 billion more to survive. GM is also closing or selling its Saturn, Saab and Hummer brands and seeking $6 billion in aid outside the U.S.

Because of GM’s reliance on government aid to survive, the company’s auditors also gave the company a so-called “going concern” ruling, meaning there’s substantial doubt about the automaker’s ability to survive, according to the filing. GM has renegotiated terms with its lenders to avoid violating loan conditions with the designation, it said.

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