General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt has turned down a nearly $12 million long-term performance award, along with his 2008 bonus, because the performance for which Immelt was being rewarded was not reflected in the company's stock price--now nearly a quarter its value in the fall of 2007.
It's a refreshing piece of news after Wall Street's bonus bonanza for a year in which the concept of pay for performance should have meant bonuses for few more than the office cleaning crews.
Immelt is not, however, in favor of salary caps for executives at companies taking large chunks of TARP funds. Businessweek reported on his comments at a breakfast held earlier this month:
The GE chief gave President Barack Obama a “B+/A-” for his performance so far on the job, but argued against new provisions to cap pay at $500,000 in firms accepting bailout funds. “What’s in the best interest of citizens right now is having Jamie Dimon running JPMorgan,” said Immelt, “and he’s worth more than $500,000.”
Immelt also told the group that he'd begun taking Amtrak--after first learning how to purchase a ticket.