One dollar CEOs: You get what you pay for

Whenever a CEO wants to convince shareholders and the media that they care about their long-suffering workers, all they have to do is slash their hefty salaries to $1. It does not seem to do much good because the executives who have taken such pay cuts already are fabulously wealthy, so money is not much of a motivating factor.

Take Rick Wagoner, the recently fired General Motors Corp. (GM) chief executive, who agreed late last year to accept a $1 a year salary, along with his counterpart at Ford Motor Co. (F) Alan Mulally. Chrysler L.L.C.'s Robert Nardelli agreed to take a $1 in pay when he joined the struggling automaker in 2007. Of course, he does not need the money thanks to the $210 million golden parachute he got after being forced out of Home Depot Inc. (HD).