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General Motors Corp. in 2003 reinstated cash bonuses for its top executives for the first time in three years. It also increased their salaries for a year in which GM's U.S. market share fell, but the company made more money and its stock price rose.

Rick Wagoner, GM's chairman and CEO, was paid $8.5 million in 2003, down from $12.1 million in 2002. Wagoner's total compensation dropped because he didn't exercise any stock options in 2003, while in 2002 he cashed out $5.07 million in stock.

Wagoner was paid a salary of $2.2 million in 2003, up 10 percent from a $2-million salary in 2002. GM said the raise was due to Wagoner assuming the additional duties of chairman, succeeding Jack Smith, who retired last year. He also received a bonus of $2.86 million after receiving no bonus the previous two years.

Wagoner also received $3.3 million in long-term incentives for meeting certain GM financial goals, such as cash generation, reducing costs and GM stock performance versus the S&P 500 Index over a three-year period. He got another $135,572 for amenities, such as company insurance contributions and the use of GM's jets.

Last year was a solid one at GM. Its stock price rose from $37.55 to $53.40, while its net income grew from $1.7 billion in 2002 to $3.5 billion in 2003. The company says it will make at least $4 billion in 2004.

On the down side, GM lost market share in the United States in 2003 and profits would have dipped without the benefit of one-time gains from the sale of GM's defense business and Hughes Electronics.



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