GE CEO Immelt's pay falls 24 percent in 2011

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Associated Press

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

General Electric Co. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt's compensation fell 24 percent in 2011 after it spiked in 2010.

GE, which makes products ranging from jet engines to light bulbs, as well as financing projects around the globe, gave Immelt a pay package valued at nearly $11.4 million, according to an analysis of regulatory documents filed Friday. That is down from roughly $15.1 million in 2010, when his pay nearly tripled.

General Electric gave the 56-year old CEO a $3.3 million salary and $4 million bonus in 2011, unchanged from the prior year.

Immelt was granted stock awards valued at nearly $3.6 million. He was given none in 2010. He received no option awards in 2011 after being granted $7.4 million in 2010. The company bowed to shareholder pressure last year and put new performance conditions in place on his 2010 stock options.

The total compensation package calculation includes $123.176 in above-market earnings from interest on his pension fund.

General Electric also gave him use of the company aircraft, car allowance and other perks valued at $447,191, up from $389,809 in the prior year.

The company had a tumultuous year in 2011, given the global economic troubles, but increased total net income 22 percent to $14.15 billion, or $1.23 per share for the 2011 fiscal year, compared with $11.64 billion, or $1.06 per share, in 2010.

General Electric praised Immelt's leadership, saying the company is now a smaller, more focused specialty finance company and that senior management's actions have put the company into a position of financial strength.

In addition to his work at the head of the massive company, Immelt has received attention recently for his work as head of President Barack Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he is consulting with the president on how to stimulate job growth for the U.S.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.

Shares of Fairfield, Conn.-based GE edged up 1 cent to close at $19.04 on Friday.

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