* Immelt's total compensation $21.42 mln
* Immelt gets special equity grant of 2 mln stock options
(Adds details on compensation, background)
NEW YORK, March 14 General Electric Co (GE.N)
paid Jeffrey Immelt a $4 million cash bonus in 2010, following
two years when the chief executive of the largest U.S.
conglomerate declined a payout in the face of sliding profits.
The payout, which boosted Immelt's total compensation to
$21.42 million from $9.89 million in 2009, came in a year that
the world's biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines
broke a two-year profit slump and saw its shares rebound.
Immelt got a $5.8 million bonus in 2007, the last year he
accepted one. In 2010, he also received a special equity grant
of 2 million stock options, according to a regulatory filing.
"In 2010, GE had a very strong year, including 15 percent
earnings growth, a 9 percent reduction in GE Capital's ending
net investment (ENI), $14.7 billion of industrial cash from
operating activities and strong order growth ending the year
with a record $175 billion backlog," the company said in the
"This performance is a direct result of actions taken by
Mr. Immelt and the GE leadership team over the last few years,"
including reducing GE Capital's size, investing in technology
and research to increase organic growth in GE's industrial
business, and strategic acquisitions.
Immelt, who has run GE since 2001, picked up some new
duties in January. U.S. President Barack Obama named the CEO to
head an advisory council on jobs and competitiveness, in an
effort to head off criticism that the administration is out of
step with the concerns of corporate America.
The stock options grant is valued at $7.4 million under
applicable SEC rules, the company said. Immelt "will only
realize compensation from this award if he continues to work
for the company over the five-year vesting period and GE's
stock price increases."
Of the $21.4 million total compensation, GE said $6.2
million reflects an annual pension value increase, based on an
increase in his service and age and changes in actuarial
pension assumptions rather than changes in actual
The past 12 months have been a momentous time for
Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE. The company closed on its sale
of a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal media to Comcast Corp
(CMCSA.O) and returned to the takeover trail with a vengeance,
reaching a series of deals to boost its presence in the energy
industry as Immelt seeks to refocus the company on its
The company also raised its dividend by a total of 37
percent in two moves, boosting the quarterly payout to 14 cents
per share. Immelt has repeatedly said that the company aims to
pay out about 45 percent of its annual profit to shareholders
and that it plans to continue to raise the dividend to match
GE shares were down 2.2 percent on Monday to $19.92. The
shares have risen about 24 percent over the past year,
outperforming the roughly 13 percent gain in the Dow Jones
industrial average .DJI
But even with those accomplishments, GE bears the scars of
the financial crisis. Its dividend remains at less than half
the level that was in place before the company slashed the
payout in 2009 and Immelt has yet to buy back the $3 billion
preferred stake the company sold Warren Buffett's Berkshire
Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) during the credit crunch.
The shares trade at about half what they were worth before
Immelt took the reins in September 2001.
(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston and Lynn Adler in New
York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Bernard Orr)