By Darrell Spurlock
When I first heard that GM CEO Rick Wagoner had resigned under pressure from the White House, I was momentarily satisfied. I was glad that for once, if performance conditions that were set out from the beginning weren’t being met, the consequences would be real for those involved. So, if GM wasn’t making good on promises about reorganization, a re-focusing on fuel-efficient cars, and innovation on the assembly line, then someone had to pay. This usually means the person at the top and in GM’s case, that was Rick Wagoner.
But then I read that Mr. Wagoner’s pension is valued at at $20 Million. That’s right, $20,000,000. Granted, Mr. Wagoner has been at GM for 31 years, but I bet there isn’t an assembly worker whose pension is worth even a quarter of that amount. Given that GM has lost over $50 Billion in shareholder money in the last 8 years, I can’t imagine what his pension would look like if he had done a better job at GM. Forbes reported in 2004 that Mr. Wagoner’s compensation was $13.7 Million for the 3 years prior, and in the 5 years prior according to the 2008 Forbes Executive Pay survey, he made $25.24 Million. Mr. Wagoner has done pretty good for himself in the last few years, wouldn’t you say?
I know I would be happy to ride off into the sunset (in my Cadillac, of course) with a personal wealth of likely more than $30 Million, and a $20 Million pension.
How about you – are the consequences we are seeing for executives sufficient, or should more be done to recoup the dollars that have been lost under their leaderhsip?
Image © 2008 - Kevin.Ward