General Motors paid CEO Dan Akerson $11.1 million last year, a GM official with knowledge of the matter said.
The official disclosed Akerson’s 2012 pay about a month ahead of GM’s formal regulatory disclosure to explain why the CEO’s compensation ended up being higher than the $9 million target for which GM had received U.S. Treasury approval. Last year, Akerson was awarded about $2 million in restricted stock units that he had earned in 2011 because that stock can’t be issued until the year after it’s earned, said the official, who requested anonymity.
This month, GM will file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will detail components of the $11.1 million package, including the restricted-stock award, the official said.
Akerson was paid $7.7 million for 2011, when his target compensation was $9 million.
Akerson’s 2012 pay increase came to light after several media outlets reported that GM had asked for a raise for the CEO for 2013, to $11.1 million, in its request to the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation. The stories cited documents and people close to the matter.
GM issued a statement denying that the company had requested a raise for Akerson.
“Reports that General Motors has requested an increase in Dan Akerson’s 2013 compensation are false,” GM said. “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,” GM said.
The GM official said that the document included the $11.1 million figure, but that it represents Akerson’s actual compensation for 2012, not a request for 2013.
The Detroit News reported that the pay proposal was outlined in a document submitted to Congress as part of hearings scheduled for today. The House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing on executive pay at companies whose compensation has been supervised by the Treasury.
Pay for executives at seven bailed-out companies, including GM, was scrutinized and restricted by the Treasury starting in 2009. American International Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Chrysler Group and Chrysler Financial Corp. have left the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program and are no longer subject to the department’s pay rulings.
Treasury still owns about 300 million GM shares, or 22 percent of its outstanding common shares.