Professor Murmann's Blog: GE’ s Jeff Immelt refuses bonus for 2008

GE’ s Jeff Immelt refuses bonus for 2008

Very few executives have taken the step to cut their own bonuses when stockholder make big losses. Reading the national mood and the outcry over Wall Street bonus payments when the bank are bailed out by taxpayers, Jeffrey Immelt demonstrated leadership by refusing a bonus for 2008.

General Electric Co. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt passed up a $12 million bonus in 2008, a year that saw company’s stock price slide 56% amid a global economic crisis and declining profits at GE. “Earnings came in below where we expected,” Mr. Immelt wrote in a note Wednesday, citing declining equity markets and a sliding GE stock price in 2008. “In these circumstances, I recommend to GE’s Board of Directors that I would not receive a bonus in 2008.” He also said he declined a special three-year cash payout that goes to senior executives and which the board’s compensation committee said he earned.