Obama pay czar open to raising salary caps for new hires

Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration pay czar, said that he is concerned that the pay cuts ordered for bailed out companies could be troublesome for them when they try to retain or hire new talent. He said that the administration would consider offers to hire new executives at competitive industry rates.

Last month, Feinberg, ordered a cut in executive salaries at the seven firms that have received taxpayer bailouts. The cut included an average 50 percent cut in pay and bonuses for executives at General Motors, GMAC Financial Services, Chrysler Group LLC and Chrysler Financial.

“I’m always concerned that the companies thrive and they keep the personnel they need to stay in business. That’s a major concern,” Feinberg said. “If General Motors or any other company wants to bring someone in laterally — laterally — and competitive pay packages require that lateral hires get certain competitive pay, what have you, we’re perfectly willing to examine that.”

GM Chairman Edward Whitacre recently urged the Obama administration to give the Detroit automaker less restrictive pay caps, saying that it is getting difficult for the company to hire new employees.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Reuters