GM CEO gets paid $21.6 million for year hampered by strike
General Motors Co. pared Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra’s pay by 1.1% in 2019, a year when profits suffered from its longest U.S. labor strike in almost half a century.
Barra received $21.6 million in total compensation, about $240,000 less than she earned in 2018, according to GM’s proxy filing Monday. Her 2019 pay was roughly 203 times the average GM employee’s compensation of $106,715.
Under Barra, 58, GM has earned high marks from Wall Street analysts for earning record profits while global industry sales were on the ascent and preserving them as major markets peaked. But in 2019, GM’s cost cuts could not offset a $3.6 billion blow from the United Auto Worker union’s 40-day strike.
Barra’s pay cut was smaller than the 2.2% drop in the compensation Ford Motor Co. paid CEO Jim Hackett last year.
This year is shaping up to be another tough one for Barra. Plans to ramp up production following the strike, which ended in October, were derailed by temporary factory shutdowns less than six months later due to the coronavirus pandemic. GM has been working to stockpile enough cash to get through the crisis.
GM shares rose 2.3% to close at $22.45, paring this year’s decline to 39%. Earlier Monday, Barra suspended the automaker’s dividend and share-buyback program.
While GM’s lead director Tim Solso reached the mandatory retirement age this year, the board decided to waive the requirement and extend his term another year, according to a spokeswoman.