• U.S.

Executives: Detroit’s Highest Tribute

1 minute read

Money, says the proverb, makes money. —Adam Smith

Automobiles’ golden year showed up on the paychecks too. General Motors Chairman Frederic Garrett Donner, 60, set an alltime automotive industry record in 1962 by earning $791,475—$201,475 in salary and directors’ fees, a cash bonus of $442,500 to be collected over five years to soften the tax pinch, and $147,500 in “contingent credit”—the bonus value of G.M. stock options he was granted for 1962. The mathematics might seem a little complicated to anyone less skilled in figures than Donner, but G.M. had a tax-conscious explanation: Donner theoretically would have only $109,410 left after taxes if he collected all his 1962 income in a single year while taking no allowable deductions.

General Motors President John F. Gordon was not far behind; he got $726,100. Two executive vice presidents earned more than $600,000, and four other G.M. vice presidents were paid more than $500,000. Over at Ford, helped by record 1962 sales that lifted executive bonuses, Chairman Henry Ford II earned $540,000 in salary and cash bonus last year. Ford’s retiring President John Dykstra earned $515,000, and incoming President Arjay Miller got $417,917. Ford’s ten top officers serving as directors received at least $215,000 each.

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