By on April 26, 2013

Companies – or so they say – pay their executives the big bucks to keep them from leaving, or, in corporate-speak to “retain” them. In the case of GM CEO Dan Akerson, they pay him more because he will leave. Nasty people will say “to make him leave.”

Claiming that its 64-year-old CEO may retire soon, GM changed Akerson’s package for 2012. Instead of a mix of “Restricted Stock Units,” (which Akerson would have to keep in the kitty for three years) and “Salary Stock Units” (which he can trade in immediately), Akerson received everything in immediately trade-inable stock, “in acknowledgement of the possibility of his retirement before the completion of the three-year vesting period for RSUs,” a filing with the SEC shows. It’s good to know that Akerson won’t have to worry about his retirement (like some Delphi managers, for instance.)

It is not immediately clear how much money Akerson really made.

Realized Annual Compensation
Chairman & CEO, Daniel F. Akerson
2011 2012
Annual Compensation
Salary $1,700,000 $1,700,000
Stock Awards
SSUs $5,284,238 $7,346,373
RSUs Earned (1) $1,986,286
All Other Compensation $55,514 $70,149
Total $9,026,038 $9,116,522
Annualized Compensation $9,026,038 $9,116,522

One table makes us believe he made $9.1 million in 2012.

Name and Principal Position Year Salary Stock Other Total
Daniel F. Akerson (1) 2012 $1,700,000 $9,332,659 $70,149 $11,102,808
CEO 2011 $1,700,000 $5,947,229 $55,514 $7,702,743
2010 $566,667 $1,766,664 $194,088 $2,527,419

Another table says Akerson made $11.1 million.

Bloomberg, which is better at deciphering these filings, is convinced that “Akerson’s compensation, which is subject to government review because of GM’s 2009 U.S. bailout, increased 44 percent to $11.1 million last year.”

At the RenCen, people claim ignorance when it comes to Akerson’s retirement plans. “We certainly wouldn’t speculate on what he will actually do — that’s up to him,” spokesman Tom Henderson told Bloomberg.

And who will be the man or woman after Akerson? According to Bloomberg, the folks in the running are Steve Girsky, Mary Barra, and TTAC commenter NADude, also known as Mark Reuss.

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27 Comments on “Akerson Gets Millions More In Cash To Grease His Exit...”


  • avatar
    Sundowner

    “and don’t let the front door hit yoa where the good Lord split ya on your way out!”

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I am disgusted that he makes anything more than minimum wage. On the other hand, I do applaud the board for, at long last seeing the handwriting on the wall, and deciding to show Akerson the door.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Check this one Bertel:

    “Claiming that its 64-year-old CEO may retire spoon”

    The dish ran away with the spoon and the cow jumped over the moon, IIRC.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Getting paid to leave? What is he, a muck-jumper?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I don’t care, and I don’t go for playing the class envy game. Everyone from Bob King to the US government had a say in this arrangement.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Our tax dollars hardly at work.

  • avatar

    Oh Danny Boy, ’tis you, ’tis you must go.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    What’s the big deal? Didn’t everybody get a 44 percent raise this year?

    Akerson’s compensation is ridiculous, but this is pretty much SOP in CEOLand. After knee-capping HP, Fiorina got paid $21 million to go away.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Huh? Around here, the RSUs vest after a few years’ waiting period or when you retire. This arrangement just allow Akerson to cash more stock in faster, which only protects him if he’s screwed things up so badly that GM falls off even before he retires. And there’s no point comp’ing him for that.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    GM needs to hire Francois Olivier

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Much like Mugabe, anything to get him to exit the company is cheap.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This is what Home Depot did to get rid of Bob Nardelli 6 years ago. This is money well spent. Get rid of him before Monday. Either put a real car guy in or hire someone from Hyundai or Toyota. Better yet get Lee Iacocca out of retirement, he could straighten GM out.

  • avatar
    wmba

    NAdude is some guy called Nadeem Bakhsh with thousands of google hits, none of which reach back to the RenCen unless you include TTAC in the search criteria, and then we have only TTAC’s word or speculation that it is Reuss.

    As for Akerson, one can only hope the rumor about his leaving is true, but usually news like this is too good to be true, like thinking you really did get all those burdocks off your clothes after a nature ramble.

    Putting Girsky or Barra in charge of GM would just be prolonging the death wish to an excruciating extent.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    I …was a staunch conservative until I read what these CEO`s are paid.
    Now I say: tax the F_ _ king sh _ t out of them!!!!!
    There is no way on this planet that he,and most of his peers are worth that kind of money!
    If the board wants to pay them that much..fine with me.
    Just tax them at about an 80 percent rate.
    I can appreciate the self made millionaire…but not the board approved company made millionaire.
    F_ _ k Rush Limbaugh and his defense of the “job creators”….If it wasn’t for the ‘tax man’ most wouldn’t create anything other than more self wealth.
    Whew!!!!!!
    Had to get this off my chest!

  • avatar
    360joules

    As a former Muck-Muck in In(H)uman Resources, I remember arguing with board members and management types about termination deals. Getting board members or E(ccccchhh)management team members to articulate their concerns eventually devolved into a fear that the terminated executive might “…(F)righten investors or customers…[sic].” The fact that investors would be impressed with an organization that jettisoned underperforming talent never resonated with these servile board members.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    There is a difference between overpaid CEOS like Akerson and those that get wealthy creating a business. Guys like Akerson are responsible for destruction of industries and jobs. If this were China they wouldn’t pay him a bonus to get rid of him, instead they would execute him. Akerson is a leech.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Where do I volunteer to become a CEO? I could drive GM into the ground like Akerson, just not as fast as he seems to be doing. I’ll even do it for half what he is getting.

  • avatar
    mikey

    As a now retired GM hourly worker, I can’t tell you how many times we were lectured/brainwashed/informed,that we needed to implement, the “Toyota Way”.

    When it came to the Q&A part of the meeting,somebody would ask,”whats the ratio of white collar, to blue collar head count at GM vs that at Toyota? That question quickly ended the meeting. If that didn’t work somebody would ask,how does GM and Toyota compare, as far as management compensation goes?
    Like a good lawyer, the guys asking the qustion’s already knew the answer. It was great entertainment, watching the management people squirm.
    During the dark days of late 2008, we were all asked for any suggestion at all. The company was on its knees, and we needed to save money.
    Some of the guys come up with some really good ideas. Like selling off the management driven fleet of 5.00 a galon gas drinking Yukons and Suburbans. Give them Cobalts, or even Impalas for the top people.
    I suggested that management should drive a random car from the production line. If that car should have problems,let the management person take in to dealers for service. Use different dealers,and don’t tell them your GM management. Its been rumoured that Honda used the same method.
    The only thing we saw change after said meetings,was lower quality toilet paper in the hourly washrooms. I retired shortly after that {I think I was fast tracked}
    I always wondered, if Rick W had to use brand X toilet paper. With a 20 million dollar bonus, and a gauranteed pension,after running the company bankrupt, I guess he can afford Charmin now.

    • 0 avatar
      jd418197

      “When it came to the Q&A part of the meeting,somebody would ask,whats the ratio of white collar, to blue collar head count at GM vs that at Toyota? That question quickly ended the meeting.”

      That’s an interesting point. Do you know the ratio? I have no idea – curious.

      “During the dark days of late 2008, we were all asked for any suggestion at all. The company was on its knees, and we needed to save money.”

      Did anyone suggest laying off workers? Oh, wait. :/

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ jd418197….You don’t think workers were ever laid off? Here in Oshawa Ont, we got about 2000 workers that would beg to differ with you.
        Odd, how when Toyota retains workers during lean times ,its considered responsible,and somhow noble.

        The UAW won the job bank language, and it was a terrible thing? BTW… job banks have been gone since 2007.

        Just saying.

  • avatar

    I would be mad to take the job as boss of General Motors. What a stressful, ungrateful, everyone-will-blame-you, sure-to-fail job.

    But then again I would be mad not to take the 10 million dollars salary. If I survived for just a few months in that position I would be set for life.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Ed Berry-So what’s your point. Iacocca is more capable of running GM at 88 than Ackerson is at 64. Not that Lee would want to do it, you don’t think that he could do it. Have you forgotten what he did for Chrysler, or were you not born yet or too young to remember. Maybe in your book you judge a person’s competence to manage by their age, but a person can be incompetent regardless of age. Actually I think they could do better to pay a Chinese or Indian CEO a couple of 100k, they couldn’t do any worse. Since GM is going to outsource jobs to China why not outsource the CEO? Most American CEOs could care less about the corporation, stockholders, customers, or workers they just want to suck as much money out of the corporation they work for (not own except the stock bonuses they get rewarded with) and if it folds they get a golden parachute. Maybe we could sell GM to the Chinese and get the rest of our money back. I was for the bailout at first but now I think with Akerson and Opel that maybe we need to rid ourselves of this mess if anyone is willing to take GM. It could be too late.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      I’m no huge fan of the guy, but what industries and jobs did Dan Ackerson destroy during his career?

    • 0 avatar

      With all due respect to Lee Iacocca, he is no youth anymore. Here is a recent media appearance http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/18869946

      Sure, his mind is still sharp but it is a bit late in life for a comeback as a CEO. Since you ask, yes I know what he did at Chrysler. I bought and read his book about the turnaround.

  • avatar

    I did not know that you have to grease shit to make it exit. Cannot they just give enema?


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