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Mary Barra Wins the CEO Pay Race

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Self-driving Chevy Bolts have begun testing on public roadways in MichiganMary Barra is a lot of things in the automotive industry, from the first female CEO to one of its most vocal advocates for STEM education. In 2016, she was also the highest paid CEO in the industry with total compensation equaling $22.6 million. That is actually a 21% pay drop for Ms. Barra because last year she was given an extra retention bonus with other GM executives.

The CEO that came in second place for compensation was Mark Fields of Ford, who earned $22.1 million, a pay increase of 19% from 2015. Japanese CEOs, who are heads of the most similarly-sized automakers, are paid much lower than American executives, so they were not in the running  for this recognition (even Carlos Ghosn, head of the entire Renault-Nissan Alliance).

To earn her current salary, Mary Barra has had a tenure of more than 25 years with General Motors. The company also had a great performance year in 2016, with 10 million cars sold, a record for GM, which was achieved even in a year of falling auto sales throughout the country as a whole. GM also earned a record operating profit of $12.5 billion for the calendar year, which is also reportedly up 16% from 2015.

GM already has several new models lined up for release this year, such as the Chevy Bolt making its nationwide debut and anniversary editions for the iconic Corvette. With Mary Barra’s leadership, we hope that it is possible for GM to have another great year in 2017.