General Electric Co. violated the law by failing to fully disclose to investors the many retirement perks lavished on former Chief Executive Jack Welch, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.
The millions of dollars in benefits included unlimited personal use of GE's planes, exclusive use of an $11-million apartment in New York City, a chauffeured limousine, a leased Mercedes, office space, financial services, bodyguard security and security systems for his homes.
In a settlement, the SEC did not fine GE, and the company did not admit to or deny wrongdoing. But the agency won a promise from GE to fully disclose such benefits from now on.
"Shareholders have a clear interest in knowing how public companies compensate their top executives," said Paul R. Berger, associate director of the SEC's enforcement division.