By Keith Laing - 02/10/14 05:02 PM EST
General Motors said Monday that its first female CEO, Mary Barra, will make more than her male predecessor did as the company moved to rebut criticism of an alleged gender pay gap between its current and former chief executives.
The company said Barra will be paid $14.4 million in 2014, compared to a $9 million salary that was paid to previous GM CEO Dan Akerson in cash and stock.
GM had been criticized after reports surfaced last week that Barra's base pay would be lower than Akerson's, but the company called the reports "premature" because Barra's stock and performance compensation packages had not yet been released.
GM was praised for its selection of Barra to replace Akerson in December because she became the first woman to lead an American car company.
Barra is currently one of 23 women leading a company that is listed in the Fortune Magazine 500 list of the most profitable companies in the U.S.
GM is the seventh-largest company on Fortune's 500 list, making Barra the highest-ranking female chief executive in the country.
Barra took over the spot of highest ranking female chief executive from Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010.
Barra has not commented publicly on the dust up about her pay.