GM CEO Mary Barra received the biggest paycheck out of the Detroit Three’s chief executives for the eighth year in a row in 2022, getting compensation of $28,979,570, or just shy of $29 million.
Barra’s pay declined slightly compared to 2021, according to a Detroit Free Press report. GM’s board of directors set much more challenging financial targets in 2022, leading to smaller bonuses for Barra and other top GM executives.
Mary Barra’s base salary is $2.1 million, the same as it was a year ago. According to GM, Barra also received approximately $6.3 million in incentives, $4.9 million in options, and $14.6 million in stocks, along with $1.1 million in “other payments.”
Comparing Barra to other CEOs, she earned somewhat more than the $24.8 million raked in by Stellantis chief executive Carlos Tavares, and earned roughly $8 million more than the $21 million in compensation Ford pays to its CEO Jim Farley. Barra has earned in excess of $200 million during her nine-year stint as The General’s top executive.
Inside GM, her salary is about twice that of GM President Mark Reuss ($14.3 million) and almost triple that of GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson ($10.2 million). Ordinary workers at GM receive $80,034 in median pay, an almost $11,000 increase from 2021.
Barra’s total compensation reached $21.6 million in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Despite the massive economic disruptions of the following year, she earned $23.7 million during 2020. Her total paycheck amount skyrocketed almost 23 percent in 2021, slightly surpassing $29 million.
Some sources claim GM’s official figures are understating Mary Barra’s actual earnings, despite them consistently putting her at the top of the Detroit Three for almost a decade. One study claims she actually earned $40.3 million rather than the official $23.7 million in 2020. The extra earnings derived from cash bonus payouts, gains from stock awards, benefits and perquisites, based on data presented in GM’s annual SEC proxy statement.
The gap between Mary Barra’s pay and that of a median worker has also increased in relative terms over the half-decade ending in 2022. Back in 2017, Barra’s pay was 295 times higher than that of a median global employee at The General. Today, the Detroit Free Press points out, her compensation has grown to be 362 times higher than the median worker’s pay.