White House approves bailout pay packages

Posted April 01, 2011, at 10:51 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The administration’s pay czar has approved compensation packages for top executives at the four companies that are still receiving exceptional assistance from the government’s $700 billion bailout fund.

The decisions, released late Friday, cover salary and other compensation for this year for the top 25 executives at General Motors Co., Chrysler, American International Group Inc. and Ally Financial Inc., the former financing arm of GM.

The government’s findings do not identify the executives by name but only by salary rankings.

For GM, the compensation table shows the highest paid executive will get $1.7 million in salary in 2011 and performance-based stock awards that will bring total compensation to $9 million. GM is headed by Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.

The highest paid executive at insurance giant AIG will be paid $3 million in salary and receive total compensation of $10.5 million in 2011. AIG is led by President and CEO Robert Benmosche.

The highest paid executive at Ally Financial will receive no cash salary in 2011 but was granted performance-based stock awards that will total $9.5 million. Ally’s chief executive is Michael Carpenter.

Ally, which is 74 percent owned by the government, announced this week that it is preparing an initial public stock offering as a way to repay a portion of the $17.2 billion in aid that Ally received from the government’s bailout fund, the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The highest paid executive at Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, who is head of both Chrysler and Italy’s Fiat, is not covered by the executive compensation restrictions because he receives his salary from Fiat. The pay czar’s filing showed that the second highest paid executive at Chrysler will receive $500,000 in cash salary this year and total compensation of $1.18 million.

The compensation decisions were announced by Patricia Geoghegan, who succeeded Kenneth Feinberg last September. Geoghegan, a tax and compensation lawyer, came to Treasury after retiring as a partner from the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore.

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