20 Feb 2010

$US9 million pay package for GM chief

1:32 pm on 20 February 2010

General Motors chief executive Ed Whitacre is to get an annual salary of $US1.7 million, plus $US7.3 million in shares at a later date.

The BBC reports the pay package was approved by the US Treasury, which bailed out the carmaker last year and now owns a large stake of the company.

GM also said Mr Whitacre's predecessor, Fritz Henderson, is being paid $US59,090 a month as an adviser.

Mr Whitacre took over as interim chief executive in December last year. He was officially confirmed in the position last month. He is also chairman of GM.

Mr Whitacre was appointed chairman by the administration last year, having previously run telecoms company AT&T.

A collapse in sales during the economic downturn forced GM to turn to the federal government for aid, but this could not prevent it entering bankruptcy protection in June last year.

It emerged a month later, with the US government owning a 62% stake in the company.

In total, GM has received some $US60 billion in government loans.