CEO salary nearly drives GE investors crazy

The logo of U.S. conglomerate General Electric is seen on the company’s building in Belfort, France, October 19, 2019.

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NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Investors in General Electric (GE.N) are pretending to be angry over executive pay. Only two-thirds voted in favor of the company’s executive compensation package at its May 4 annual meeting. That’s better than the 42% who voted last year, but below the 87% average at companies tracked by Proxy Monitor.

Discontent can seem harsh. General Manager Larry Culp just took a $10 million pay cut read more, and recently bought $5 million worth of GE stock. Even so, the $22 million he took home last year is high considering GE shares fell 20% during his tenure. Culp can still pocket $124 million if he puts the stock back where it was six months ago and keeps it there.

Culp’s position and salary are secure. Non-binding voting contrasts with shareholders effortlessly re-electing GE’s directors — an area where they have real agency. For a struggling company, an overpaid CEO is better than none at all. (By John Foley)

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Editing by Peter Thal Larsen and Sharon Lam

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