Reuters

(Reuters)

GE Announces Board Shakeup, Change in CEO Pay

Auto Reuters

General Electric Co. said the value of Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt's total compensation fell about 11.5% last year to $33 million, and that three board members would leave this year in a "refreshment." 

Two of GE's longest-serving directors, Douglas Warner III and James Cash, aren't seeking re-election to the board after serving 24 and 19 years, respectively. Mr. Warner is the former chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase, and Mr. Cash is an emeritus professor at Harvard Business School. Also retiring from the board after 14 years is Robert Swieringa, dean emeritus of the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. 

GE has nominated Sebastien Bazin, 54, CEO of hotel chain Accor SA; Peter Henry, 46, a professor of economics and finance at NYU's Stern School of Business; and Lowell McAdam, 61, CEO of Verizon Communications Inc. 

The departure of three long-standing directors comes as GE has taken steps to provide greater turnover on its board. In September, the company adopted 15-year term limits for its directors, though those limits were to be phased in over two years for existing directors . Directors may not be renominated after they have turned 75, though the company says there are limited exceptions to that rule. 

As for Mr. Immelt's compensation, GE noted that when adjusted for certain items, such as a change in pension value, the CEO's pay was valued at $23.4 million, up 14% from 2014. 

His base salary rose to $3.8 million from $3.75 million. 

The GE board compensation committee "believes that Mr. Immelt performed extremely well in 2015 with one of the best performance years in the company's history." 

The committee cited achievements including higher earnings and sales of financial services assets. Last year, GE said it would part with most of its giant GE Capital business as it focused on its industrial operations. 

Mr. Immelt received a $5.4 million cash bonus, representing 100% of the target amount. 

GE said last month that Mr. Immelt missed a performance target set five years ago and lost out on a stock award worth more than $3 million. 

Continue Reading Below