General Electric Company (GE) issued the following statement recently regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) announcement on the Employment and Post-Retirement Consulting Agreement of former GE CEO Jack Welch:
GE has cooperated fully with the SEC's informal investigation into the disclosure of Jack Welch's Employment and Post-Retirement Consulting Agreement.
As part of that cooperation and in keeping with GE's longstanding emphasis on compliance, GE has settled this administrative matter, while neither admitting nor denying the SEC's findings.
GE believes that the settlement represents a constructive conclusion to this matter.
The agreement with Mr. Welch, which was attached to GE's 1996 10-K and referenced in each subsequent 10-K until 2002, stated that Mr. Welch would have "for the remainder of his life, continued access to (GE) facilities and services comparable to those provided to him prior to his retirement, including access to (GE) aircraft, cars, office, apartments, and financial planning services." GE's proxy statement in each of those years stated that Mr. Welch in retirement would have "continued lifetime access to Company facilities and services comparable" to those he received as CEO. The SEC Order finds that the proxy statement and Form 10-K "failed to fully describe the substantial benefits that Welch would receive as part of the agreement" and the agreement itself "did not provide further meaningful and complete disclosure of those 'facilities and services'."
During more than 40 years at GE, Jack Welch delivered extraordinary value to GE investors, customers and shareowners.
None of the five most highly compensated officers listed in GE's 2004 Proxy Statement has employment or retirement contracts, including GE CEO Jeff Immelt.
Source GE Press Release