Henderson: GM Pay Cuts "Thoughtful"

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

We’re not public yet but we will be and if we do our job that stock is going to have real value. We thought it was fair. We thought it was thoughtful

GM CEO Fritz Henderson comments on Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg’s decision to dock his salary to a flinty $950,000. The AP reports Henderson’s total compensation could be worth $5.5m, apparently based on some unfathomable projection of GM’s IPO value. But Fritz is going to work for it. When asked if he’d read Steve Rattner’s magnum opus calling GM management “stunningly poor” and “perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company,” Fritz’s responds in the affirmative…

There was a lot of truth in it. You’ve got to take that to heart. You’ve got to internalize it and say, “How do we change?” We went bankrupt. We’ve got to change

Dude, you were the Chief Financial Officer at GM for over three years before Rattner pushed Rick Wagoner out. The “weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen” jab was at you. Of course it also raises the real underlying question: if GM’s finance operations were in such deplorable shape, why did Rattner’s Rescue end with a promotion for the CFO? Oh right, Rattner already explained that one:

Later, I spoke to Fritz, who expressed enthusiasm for his proposed promotion but asked that he not be called “interim” CEO. “You can fire me anytime you want, but at least give me a better chance to succeed,” he said. We agreed.

GM’s IPO gets closer with every passing day (in theory), and something tells me Steve Rattner isn’t going to invest his own money in the half-hearted rescue job he engineered. So why raise a fuss by firing Fritz now? Hey, the guy works cheap and doesn’t complain.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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