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State and Nation Business

GM to pay new CEO Barra $1.6M in base salary

General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra will get a base salary of $1.6 million per year as she takes over the global automaker.

GM said in a filing Barra will also be eligible for $2.8 million in short-term incentives.

Her pay would climb further if GM shareholders approve a new long-term incentive plan at their next annual meeting. Stock and option awards make up the bulk of CEO pay at GM and many other publicly traded companies.

Dan Akerson, who retired as CEO Wednesday, had total 2012 pay of more than $11 million. That included a base salary of $1.7 million and $9.3 million in stock awards.

The federal government limited executive pay at GM after the Detroit company took bailout money in 2008 and 2009. But those restrictions are gone after the government sold the last of its General Motors Co. stock Dec. 9.

Barra started Wednesday as CEO. She has worked at GM since she was 18, and got an engineering degree from what was then known as General Motors Institute. Most recently she held what is widely considered to be the most important job at GM: Senior vice president for global product development. She has also been a plant manager, executive director of engineering and head of human resources.

GM said it expects Akerson will continue to work there for less than a year, with prorated pay. He will get up to $4.7 million per year as a senior adviser, including a cash salary of $1.7 million.

GM also is paying former vice chairman Stephen Girsky, who remains on the company's board, to work as a senior adviser. He's getting a cash salary of $600,000 and up to $750,000 in short-term incentives.

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