General Motors CEO Mary Barra received over $23 million in compensation for her work in 2020 – this despite economic setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to SEC filings published last week, Barra received $23,657,987 in 2019 in pay for her services last year, up from $21,630,867 in 2019. This made the 59-year old the highest-paid executive of any of the Detroit Big Three for the second year in a row.
As The Detroit Free Press reports, earnings at GM include the employee’s base salary, along with discretionary bonuses, stock and option awards and performance-based bonuses. The figure also takes into account other compensation such as air travel and company vehicle programs, life insurance and contributions to the individual’s 401(k).
GM has said previously that 90 percent of Barra’s pay is “at risk” because it is tied to the company’s overall financial performance. Barra’s base salary last year was $1,995,000, which was down from $2,100,000 in 2019 and 2018.
The median GM employee salary in 2020 was $117,566, meaning Barra earns about 201 times more than the average GM worker. In 2019, Barra earned about 295 times more than the average GM worker.
GM introduced a wage reduction plan for its white-collar workforce last year as it faced financial pressure at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included a 20 percent pay deferment for the company’s 69,000 salaried workers, along with a 5 percent pay cut and 20 percent deferral for senior executives and a 20 percent deferral and 10 percent pay cut for its highest-paid senior officers. It also issued a 20 percent pay cut for its board of directors at the time. Barra took about one-third less compensation for a six-month period amid the pandemic before returning to her usual pay grade later in the year.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett, who has since been replaced by Jim Farley, received total compensation of $16.7 million from the automaker in 2020. Stellantis North America boss and former Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley was paid $14 million last year.