By Bernie Woodall
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, who last year became the first woman to lead a major U.S. automaker, received $16.2 million in 2014 compensation, up 78 percent from her predecessor's total the previous year.
Most of Barra's compensation is tied to stock awards that she cannot cash in yet. She received $4.55 million in salary and other liquid compensation for 2014, GM said in a proxy filed on Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Barra, 53, replaced Dan Akerson, now 66, as CEO in January 2014. Akerson's 2013 compensation was $9.1 million.
Barra was paid $5.2 million in cash and stock in 2013, when her title was executive vice president and she headed global product development.
Detroit-based GM is now linking executive compensation more closely to performance, as other big companies have done, as it moves beyond the more restrictive guidelines it followed after its 2009 U.S. government-led restructuring.
Barra and other top GM executives attained 74 percent of the company's targets for profit, automotive cash flow and global market share and quality. The quality metric included "customer enthusiasm" and loyalty, as well as warranty expense.
Soon after Barra's ascension to CEO, GM became embroiled in a massive recall of older vehicles with faulty ignition switches that have been linked to at least 87 deaths. She testified several times before Congress to explain GM's botched response which included an 11-year gap before the recalls.
GM's board of directors chose not to award discretionary bonuses to any of its top executives last year.
Ford Motor Co (F.N) also changed leaders last year as Mark Fields replaced Alan Mulally, who was largely credited with helping Ford avoid the bankruptcies that in 2009 ensnared GM and what was then Chrysler, now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N).
Fields, who became CEO in July 2014, received $18.6 million in compensation for last year, and Mulally was compensated for the full year to the tune of $22 million. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford made $15.1 million.
FCA Chief Sergio Marchionne received compensation valued at about $38 million based on currency exchange rates at the end of last year.
GM's annual meeting will be held on June 9 in Detroit. Shareholders will consider company nominee Joseph Jimenez to join the board. Jimenez, 55, is CEO of Novartis AG (NOVN.VX).
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)