GM CEO Made Almost $22 million In 2018. For What?

Reuters reports that GM released a proxy statement showing it paid CEO Mary Barra just under $22 million last year, roughly 281 times the average GM worker.

Barra’s pay dropped from the $21.96 million she made in 2017 and $22.58 million in 2016.

Which raises the question of why Barra is paid so much in the first place.

The company went bankrupt, left the “bad assets” in the Old GM (along with debt it refused to pay), stiffed retired white collar workers, then went public again as the “New GM,” with a multi-billion dollar tax-loss carryforward to boot.

With all of those tailwinds, the company has managed to flop on both the Bolt and the Volt, and increased its share price from $33 to $40 over eight and a half years.  That’s an annualized gain of 2.3%, compared with the S&P’s 10%-plus gain over the same period.

The proxy statement concerns board seats, but it should include a measure to re-evaluate the compensation packages of senior executives.  That’s one question that will never be asked at the annual shareholder meeting, because the company, run by the executives, controls the agenda.


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