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GE's Immelt declines bonus

February 19, 2009|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — General Electric Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt declined a 2008 bonus and millions of dollars in performance awards, saying Wednesday that the company's falling profit and share price prompted him to forgo the payments.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based conglomerate, which makes locomotives, appliances and many other goods, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Immelt would not receive his $11.7-million long-term performance award. Immelt received no bonus and his base salary of $3.3 million was flat with his 2007 paycheck. In 2007, GE paid Immelt a $5.8-million bonus.

The pay decisions, which the board made at Immelt's request, come after a painful year for GE as the economy sank and the financial crisis intensified. Earnings dropped 22% and the shares lost more than half of their value.

"Earnings came in well below where we expected. The broad equity markets, and GE's stock price, declined significantly in 2008. In these circumstances, I recommended to GE's board of directors that I not receive a bonus for 2008," Immelt said in a statement.

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