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The head of General Electric Co. got an 8.4 percent pay raise in 1994, a year in which the company sacked hundreds of workers.

According to GE's latest proxy statement, chairman and chief executive officer John Welch Jr.'s total cash compensation last year was $4.35 million, said spokesman Bruce Bunch.

The company's power plant equipment unit in Schenectady, N.Y., eliminated more than 2,200 jobs last year and expects to cut another 980 in 1995.

GE says the layoffs were necessary because of global competition.

General Electric earned $4.7 billion in 1994, compared with $4.3 billion in 1993. Revenues rose to $60.1 billion from $55.7 billion.

Welch, 59, is a 35-year veteran of GE and has been its top officer since 1981.

"Mr. Welch is paid for his operation of the entire General Electric Co. and he's recognized as one of the outstanding business leaders," Bunch said.

Welch's pay increase was based on his effectiveness in improving GE's competitiveness and financial position, according to the proxy statement.

Welch also has rights to 467,500 shares of GE stock worth about $23.8 million as of Dec. 31, 1994, the statement said.

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