We're All Poor Compared To America's Highest Paid Auto CEO

Industry News

GM's Mary Barra takes home 281 times the average employee.

As chairperson and chief executive of General Motors, Mary Barra is in charge of the largest automaker in America and one of the largest companies of any kind in the world. And that means she makes bank.

Just how much, you wonder? A little less than in past years, but still nothing to sneeze at. According to financial statements cited by Reuters, Barra took home $21.87 million in 2018 between various elements of her total compensation package. That makes her one of the top-paid women in the world, earning 281 times what the average GM employee makes.

Barra's base salary is "only” $2.1 million. But she made over $11 million in stock awards, another $3.4 million in options, and a performance bonus of $4.5 million.

As high as those sums may seem, the total actually works out to a little less than the $21.96 million she made in 2017, and the $22.58 she took home in 2016. After rising up the ranks through a succession of vice-president positions, Barra was named CEO in 2014 and chairwoman in 2016. That could change if a renewed shareholder proposal, opposed by the automaker itself, succeeds in separating the roles of chairman and chief executive.

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For now, though, Barra's compensation positively eclipses that of any of her subordinates. Reuters reports that Dan Ammann, who recently moved over from president to run the Cruise automation division, made just under $9 million last year. His successor as president, Mark Reuss, made nearly $7.4 million. And the company's CFO Dhivya Suryadevara made just north of $5.5 million.

GM is set to hold its next annual investor meeting on June 4, when its board will shrink from 13 members to 11 after Admiral Michael Mullen and former ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva will step down from the board and not be immediately replaced.

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