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GM to pay adviser Girsky $900,000 a year in stock

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GM to pay adviser Girsky $900,000 a year in stock

Chrissie Thompson

Automotive News -- January 15, 2010 - 4:51 pm ET

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. director Steve Girsky, a former Wall Street analyst, will receive $900,000 a year in stock for his work as an adviser to Chairman Ed Whitacre, GM said today in a regulatory filing.

The GM board approved the stock payments on Tuesday. The payments are in addition to the $200,000 directors receive annually for their work. Girsky also will receive reimbursement for living expenses and travel to and from Detroit, the filing said.

Girsky, a former Morgan Stanley analyst who was often critical of GM, joined the GM board in June, filling the UAW’s seat. Girsky, who served as an adviser to Rick Wagoner for about a year through mid-2006, is advising Whitacre, who also is interim CEO.

Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe, said Tuesday in an interview that Girsky was aiding Whitacre by keeping tabs on GM’s operations outside North America. Whitacre is focusing on North America, Reilly said.

GM said today that Reilly, appointed managing director of GM’s German Opel brand, will leave the Opel supervisory board and Girsky will replace him.

The regulatory filing also said GM gave Opel $900 million in financing in November and another $930 million last week to fund its operations until it arranges permanent financing. The most recent sum included prepayment for engineering services, GM said.

Opel needs a total of $4.74 billion in funding to be viable, GM said. The brand is in discussions with European governments to line up the financing.

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