Well, at Least Your CEO Is Doing OK

While many of us consider unemployment numbers and whether jobs will be available, hope long-term unemployment benefits are extended, or root for an increase in the minimum wage, there is, of course, at least one person in most companies who seems to be doing OK -- the CEO. In fact, you may be surprised how OK they really are.

CEO pay

(Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013/Flickr)

Despite GM’s problems, CEO Mary Barra is expected to make 58 percent more this year than the previous CEO (who, incidentally, was male). According to USA Today, Barra’s total compensation this year will be around $14.4 million, with only $1.6 million as her direct salary. The previous CEO, Dan Akerson, is said to have received total compensation of $9.1 million in 2012, with 2013 being similar or at least close.  

This is significant for a couple reasons:

1. Barra is the first female CEO of a big car company. Her pay was actually disclosed in case anyone thought she may be underpaid because of her gender.

2. It wasn’t too long ago that GM, Chrysler, and Ford asked the government for 50 billion in order to avoid bankruptcy.

It isn’t as though Barra’s pay is too far out of the ordinary either. To put CEO compensation in perspective, the top CEOs' annual cash compensation numbers range from $9,000,000 to $60,000,000, with Barras' total projected earnings (salary of $1.6 million in salary, short-term incentives of $2.8 million, and $10 million in long-term compensation) to be more than that of McDonald’s CEO and almost as much as Target’s CEO. In 2013, the annual median employee pay for a General Motors employee was $83,000, placing the company 95th when comparing CEO pay to employee pay.

So, we can rest assured that the bailout resulted in saving millions of jobs, and the first female CEO of cars. We can also take comfort in knowing that through it all, CEOs are still bringing home the bacon. Lots of it.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you surprised by Mary Barra's projected earnings? Do you think CEOs are paid too much? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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