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No Tears For Wagoner's $20 Million In 'Retirement Benefits'


GM CEO Rick Wagoner

GM CEO Rick Wagoner

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Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner is set to receive $20 million in retirement benefits after being summarily ousted from his post at GM. Yes, he's dedicated a huge chunk of his life to GM, and it's typical to reward big American CEOs on their way out their door. But do you really think he deserves the sum?

An ABC News blog explains that although the Treasury Department has "barred GM from paying severance to Wagoner or any other senior executive," the former CEO may claim millions in retirement benefits. GM financial filings show the company plans to shell out benefits of about $20 million to Wagoner.

Given GM's performance under Wagoner's lazy watchful eye, which John Voelcker said was characterized by Detroit News as "unfulfilled promises, massive corporate losses, destroyed credit ratings, the insignificant value of GM shares, tens of thousands of jobs lost and the gutting of GM's sprawling operations," should Wagoner be getting any more GM money at all?

Whether you take the pro-business capitalist side and decry the Federal government's use of might to oust a CEO, or take the stance that government needs to exert a stabilizing force at the moment by making bold decisions that might infringe upon the rights of crumbling companies, $20 million to Wagoner strikes me as unjustifiable.

Couldn't this $20 million be doled out to, say, struggling GM workers or perhaps put toward the company's recently announced "GM Total Confidence" April sales booster, helping to bring monthly payment assistance closer to Ford's $700 per month?

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Comments (2)
  1. "Parachute?"

    Don't think this is a Golden Parachute. My understanding is that these are retirement funds that he has accumulated over the years. I quote from John Neff's autoblog column http://www.autoblog.com/2009/03/30/wagoner-retirement-package-worth-over-20-million/ "Wagoner is eligible for a "Salaried Retirement Plan" and "Executive Retirment Plan" that are together valued at $20.2 million."
     
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  2. "not excessive"

    I'm no fan of Wagoner, think he oversaw some pretty dumb decissions but he worked hard, and honestlyt hink he thought he was doing the right thing, the world had just moved faster than he did. He has worked there for a long time. If he had to give up his retirement benefits then so should every other former GM employee and that ain't going to happen.
     
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