But Jeffrey Immelt wasn’t the top earner; that was former NBCU boss Bob Wright, who pulled in more than $15.6 million in compensation.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The chairman and chief executive of General Electric Co., the highly profitable conglomerate that produces aircraft engines and TV programming and provides health care and financial services, received $15.2 million in compensation last year, according to a company proxy filed Tuesday.
But GE also disclosed that CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s pay package was still a bit smaller than that for the long-time head of its NBC business.
Immelt, 51, was paid $3.3 million in salary, a $5 million bonus and $548,013 in other benefits, including private use of company airplanes. In addition, he was awarded performance share units and stock options that were valued at $6.3 million on the day they were granted last year. The performance units will convert into GE stock after five years if the company meets certain financial benchmarks, according to the proxy.
The company’s compensation committee based its decisions on Immelt’s performance against his financial, strategic and operational goals for 2006, the proxy statement said.
In the statement, the committee said that the company had an excellent year and Immelt retained an excellent team.
Fairfield-based GE reported last month that adjusted 2006 income climbed 11 percent, to $20.67 billion, or $1.99 per share, from $18.66 billion, or $1.76 per share, in 2005. The results were just above Wall Street expectations for full-year earnings of $1.98 a share.
Full-year sales rose 10 percent to $163.39 billion, from $147.96 billion a year ago, beating Wall Street estimates for sales of $162.8 million.
Robert Wright, who until recently headed GE-owned NBC Universal, received more than $15.6 million in compensation, including $520,291 in above-market earnings on an employee salary deferral plan.
The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives’ salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits.
Immelt joined GE in corporate marketing in 1982 and held several leadership posts with GE Plastics in sales, marketing and global product development. In 1989, he became a vice president for consumer service for GE Appliances. He became GE’s president and chairman-elect in 2000, and succeeded Jack Welch as chairman and chief executive officer in 2001.
Immelt also acquired 162,000 shares of GE stock during 2006 by exercising previously awarded stock options and acquired another 4,000 shares after they vested. The proxy also shows that as of Feb. 1, he controlled 6.3 million GE shares that are currently valued at more than $220 million and Wright controls 7.2 million shares with a market value of $254.8 million.
GE started 2007 with a buying spree in which it announced $15 billion worth of acquisitions in health care, aviation and oil and gas.
Shares of GE fell 23 cents to $35.11 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.