GM’s CEO Dan Akerson asked for a big raise. He thinks his work at GM is worth a paycheck of $11.1 million this year, up 20 percent from last year, Reuters reports, citing documents. The embarrassing part: Akerson and GM have to ask its white House sugar daddy for approval.
As part of GM’s government-funded bailout, the salaries of GM executives must be authorized by a special paymaster from the federal government. The request for a raise comes at an inopportune time.
Last month, the special paymaster faced strong criticism from the TARP Special Inspector General . The report said the government “continues to award excessive pay packages.” It also flogged executives who “continue to lack an appreciation for their extraordinary situations and fail to view themselves through the lenses of companies substantially owned by the U.S. Government.”
The report published the 2012 pay packages of executives of bailed-out companies and said:
“In stark contrast, the 2011 median household income of U.S. taxpayers who fund these companies was approximately $50,000.”
Akerson’s request for a pay raised is part of documents that were published a day before a U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee would be looking into whether the U.S. Treasury has allowed excessive executive pay at companies aided by the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Meanwhile in Germany, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn applied for, and received, a salary reduction. Based on Volkswagen’s record $29 billion profit, Winterkorn was entitled to a bonus that would have raised his 2012 remuneration to €20 million ($26 million.) Last week, Volkswagen’s supervisory board ruled that Winterkorn will be paid a total of 14.5 million euros ($19.17 million) for 2012 in fixed salary, bonuses and incentives, compared with 17.5 million a year earlier.
A U.S. Treasury Department official said no determinations has yet been made for the 2013 compensation of GM execs. Once the government is out at GM, no more embarrassing requests for raises. Also, GM execs will get their jets back. This must be the most embarrassing part: While RenCen execs must fly commercial, Winterkorn has his private Airbus A319CJ, along with a fleet of Dassault Falcons.
“Reports that General Motors has requested an increase in Dan Akerson’s 2013 compensation are false. In fact, Dan specifically asked to keep his compensation at the same level for 2013 as it was in 2012 and 2011. That amount of $9 million is what the company submitted to the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation.
Unfortunately, someone who obviously did not understand the compensation request leaked the information in a way that misrepresented the truth in order to score political points on the eve of a congressional hearing.”
Adler asked “that media outlets, including TTAC, that reported the false story correct the record.” Done!