General Motors, the target of sniping over new CEO Mary Barra's pay, disclosed earlier than usual that her compensation this year will be $14.4 million — but just $1.6 million as a direct salary.
GM said that's 58% more than the $9.1 million total compensation in 2012 of her predecessor, Dan Akerson, who retired in January. GM hasn't yet disclosed what Akerson got in 2013, but the Associated Press reported GM said it was about the same as in 2012.
In an unusual move, GM disclosed its CEO's full compensation package before its proxy filing in April because the automaker wanted to "correct misperceptions created by comparisons that used only a portion of Barra's overall compensation."
After becoming the first big car company to put a woman in the corner office, GM chafed at published reports last week and remarks by politicians and commentators that it was underpaying her because of her gender.
Those were based on compensation numbers that failed to note her long-term compensation, because GM had not disclosed that at the time.
CEOs get a large portion of their compensation in awards tied to stock performance, to ensure their interests and stockholders' are the same.
Barra's package is $1.6 million in salary, $2.8 million in short-term incentives and $10 million in long-term compensation.
GM did not say how the non-salary sums will be determined or awarded.
But GM Chairman Tim Solso said in a statement that, "As a new CEO, Mary's total compensation is in line with her peer group and properly weighted so that most is at-risk."
He said, "The company's performance will ultimately determine how much she is paid."
GM had planned to lay out the specifics of Barra's compensation later, because it's not final until approved by stockholders in June.