GM's Whitacre in line to get $9M salary package
General Motors Co. Chief Executive Ed Whitacre Jr. is in line to get a $9 million pay package and the automaker, in a surprise move, rehired former CEO Fritz Henderson as a $60,000-a-month consultant.
Whitacre, who took over as acting CEO Dec. 1 after Henderson was pushed out, will receive cash salary of $1.7 million annually, retroactive to Jan. 1, according to a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The pay package has been approved "in principle" by the U.S. Treasury's pay czar, Ken Feinberg, but he could still opt to reduce it. The compensation must have Treasury's support because the government has to endorse pay for the 25 highest-paid executives of companies that received significant federal aid.
Henderson stands to earn more than $615,000 this year from GM, about a third less than his salary when he left in December. He will be paid $59,090 monthly plus expenses for an estimated 20 hours of consulting on international operations.
"I'm surprised by that," Charles Chesbrough, chief economist with CSM Worldwide in Northville, said of Henderson's return.
In 2012, Whitacre will start to accrue $5.3 million in stock over three years as part of his salary compensation. It will not be a lump sum, but will be paid on a predetermined schedule that still has to be worked out, said GM spokeswoman Noreen Pratscher.
Whitacre is eligible for a further $2 million in restricted stock that is tied to the company's performance. The CEO still must be with the company to receive this stock. A timetable of when it will be made available has not been released but a similar package for Henderson was only redeemable after GM repays its government loans. GM has said it hopes to make restitution by June. Whitacre has previously said he did not want to be a long-term CEO. Detroit News