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GM Execs Cut Base Salaries

A salary cut of 25% from the 2006 starting base will still exceed last year's lowered payout.
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The top executives at

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report

will again cut their starting base salaries this year, as the automaker struggles to turn around its North American operations.

The automaker said in its proxy statement filed Friday that CEO Rick Wagoner's 2007 base salary will be $1.65 million, 25% less than his 2006 starting base of $2.2 million. Chief Financial Officer Fritz Henderson and Vice Chairman Robert Lutz will see their pay drop 15% to $1.32 million.

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However, at these levels, the executives' salaries will still be higher than what they ultimately took home in 2006. Though Wagoner's base salary at Jan. 1, 2006 was $2.2 million, he agreed to cut that by 50% in March as part of the company's ongoing turnaround plan. Similarly, Henderson and Lutz cut their 2006 base salaries by 30% to $1.09 million.

None of the executives took home bonuses in 2006, but their pay was significantly boosted by stock and option awards. According to the proxy, Wagoner's total compensation last year was valued at $10.2 million. Henderson took home payments valued at $5.2 million, while Lutz earned $8.4 million.

Last year proved to be extremely rocky for GM as it dealt with a massive restructuring effort and pressure from shareholder Kirk Kerkorian to form a global partnership. Still, the company's financials showed signs of improvement, and the stock led the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

for the year in gains.