General Motors CEO Mary Barra took home $21.6 million in compensation in 2019, enough to make her the highest-paid executive among the Detroit Big Three.
While Barra’s base salary is $2.1 million, the remaining 90 percent of her salary is described by GM as being “at risk” – meaning its amount hinges on the overall performance of the company. Barra is also one of the top 20 best-paid CEOs in all of corporate America, though that is partly due to the fact that she also serves as the automaker’s chairman in addition to its CEO.
Barra’s pay was actually slightly down from her 2018 compensation of $21.87 million. She also took home roughly $22 million in 2017. GM says Barra’s pay is equivalent to 203 times that of the median GM employee salary of $106,715.
According to The Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley took home $14.4 million last year, while Ford CEO Jim Hackett made $17.4 million. Manley’s pay represents the largest contrast to median employee worker salary of all the Big Three at 232 times as much as the average FCA worker’s. Hackett’s pay is 157 times higher than the median Ford employee’s salary.
GM announced earlier this year that its senior executives will take on a 20 percent cash payment deferral due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a 5 percent pay cut. Barra is taking on a 10 percent pay cut in addition to the 20 percent deferral, so she will be paid out 30 percent less in 2020 than in 2019. GM’s board of directors will also take a 20 percent pay cut due to the pandemic, which has led to major losses as automakers due to closed dealerships and plant shutdowns, among other business setbacks.
In addition to Barra, GM President Mark Reuss and GM CFO Dhivya Suryadevara count themselves among GM’s top-paid executives. Reuss made $8.1 million last year, while Suryadevara made $6.8 million. Executive Vice President and President of the Americas region, Barry Engle, also made a significant $5.1 million.