The CEO of bailed-out auto finance giant GMAC Inc. will receive no cash salary for 2010 and will be compensated in restricted stock, under a deal approved by Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, according to people familiar with the matter.
The package appears to be less generous than one Feinberg approved for GMAC CEO Michael Carpenter late last year, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Carpenter took the CEO job in November and received compensation worth about $1.2 million for the last six weeks of 2009 — including restricted stock and about $120,000 in cash — according to company filings. That is equivalent to an annual salary of $9.5 million.
In a December letter approving the 2009 pay, Feinberg wrote that it was appropriate given the value of Carpenter's "corporate leadership" and his potential to restore GMAC's financial health.
GMAC has received taxpayer assistance totaling $17.2 billion and remains unprofitable. Treasury owns 56.3 percent of the company.
Officials have defended the bailout as necessary to help support the rescued U.S. auto industry, since GMAC provides crucial floor financing for car dealers. But most of the losses have been on GMAC's massive mortgage operation, which specialized in the risky subprime loans that fueled the financial crisis.
Feinberg oversees pay at GMAC because it is one of seven companies deemed to have received "extraordinary taxpayer assistance." Since Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. repaid their bailouts, Feinberg now has direct oversight of GMAC, American International Group Inc., General Motors, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.
Carpenter's all-stock deal was first reported in The Wall Street Journal Thursday afternoon.
Earlier Thursday, a watchdog report blasted Feinberg for treating Carpenter and other executives he oversees too leniently.
In a report criticizing the GMAC bailout, the Congressional Oversight Panel questioned whether the pay packages Feinberg approved were "necessary or appropriate, the nature of the incentives the compensation creates, and the manner in which Treasury is exercising its authority" to limit pay at companies that took big bailouts.
Feinberg's pay rulings for 25 highest-paid employees at the five firms are expected to be announced next week.
He did not respond to requests for comment.
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