GM almost doubles CEO's salary to $14.7 million

Automaker's 2002 profit nearly triple that of 2001

April 18, 2003|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON - General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, paid Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner $14.7 million in 2002, almost double his year-earlier compensation as profit nearly tripled.

The raise was the first in three years for Wagoner, who becomes chairman May 1. He was paid $7.43 million in 2001 and didn't get a bonus that year because the automaker missed earnings and profit targets. General Motors disclosed the information in its proxy filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Detroit-based automaker's net income last year rose to $1.74 billion from $601 million on rising sales of trucks in North America and stronger profits overseas. The company's shares last year fell 24 percent.

"They gained U.S. market share and market share on trucks," said Bear Stearns analyst Domenic Martilotti, who rates General Motors an "outperform" and doesn't own its shares. "Put that all together, and that's going to drive profitability."

Wagoner received a $2 million salary last year, unchanged from the previous year. He also got restricted stock valued at $5.01 million, which the proxy said was in lieu of a cash bonus, and $34,382 in other compensation.

The chief executive was awarded options to buy 600,000 of the company's shares, which the proxy valued at $7.68 million. For 2001, Wagoner received options to buy 400,000 shares valued at $4.95 million.

Wagoner also had a gain of $5.08 million in 2002 from exercising options for 178,254 shares, the proxy said.

Compensation for Jack Smith, the departing chairman, fell 2.9 percent last year to $7.25 million from $7.47 million, according to the filing. His salary decreased 29 percent to $1.03 million, and he received restricted stock units valued at $2.2 million and 300,000 stock options valued at $3.84 million.

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