Fired GM boss to get $8.2M

Former General Motors Corp. Chairman Rick Wagoner will officially retire from the automaker Aug. 1 with a package worth at least $8.2 million, following months of negotiations after his dismissal by the Obama administration's auto task force.

In a filing with federal regulators, the remnants of GM in bankruptcy court — now known as Motors Liquidation Co. — said Wagoner would receive payments of $1.6 million for 5 years and annual payments of $74,030, based on 32 years with the automaker. It said those amounts were consistent with the cuts in executive pay made as part of the automaker's bankruptcy.

In addition, Motors Liquidation will hand over a $2.6-million life insurance policy to Wagoner, but will not pay any additional premiums. It will also maintain liability insurance for him through January 2010.

Wagoner's lifetime of work at GM ended March 27, when auto task force member Steven Rattner asked him to resign as a condition of GM receiving additional aid from the federal government. Wagoner had been a vocal opponent of bankruptcy for GM, warning that it could permanently damage its sales and suppliers.

Since that fateful Friday, Wagoner had technically remained an employee of the automaker — working for the $1-a-year salary he accepted as part of GM's turnaround efforts — while his exit was negotiated with the Obama administration. Wagoner has declined requests for comment since his departure.

His retirement benefits had been valued at $22.1 million in 2008, but pensions for top executives were cut by two-thirds as part of the company's bankruptcy sale to a government-owned entity. Wagoner also had held about 3 million options to buy GM shares that are now worthless. Detroit Free Press

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