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(Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt earned roughly 8 percent increases in his salary and cash bonus in 2014, the U.S. conglomerate said in its proxy statement on Tuesday, despite a sluggish performance by GE's shares last year.
Immelt's salary rose to $3.75 million while his cash bonus increased to $5.4 million.
The GE board's management development and compensation committee "believes that Mr. Immelt performed very well in 2014 and, as a result, awarded him a $5.4 million cash bonus," GE said in its proxy statement.
Immelt is praised in the proxy for hitting company goals such as making progress in tilting GE's earnings toward industrial manufacturing and away from its finance operations, as well as for executing on financial goals in 2014 such as cash returned to investors.
According to the proxy, the compensation committee early in 2014 raised Immelt’s base salary, effective March 1 of last year, noting that it was Immelt's second salary increase since 2005. A 33-year GE veteran, Immelt became CEO in 2001.
Immelt's total compensation nearly doubled to $37.2 million, with much of the increase coming from a big jump in the value of his pension. Excluding the change in pension value, the CEO's compensation value slipped 2 percent from 2013 to $18.9 million.
GE shares fell some 10 percent in 2014, underperforming gains for the broader U.S. stock market. The steep drop in oil prices has worried investors about GE's business supplying equipment and services to the energy industry.
Barclays analyst Scott Davis said in a research note last week that although Immelt "has arguably had a good run" since the company struggled during the 2008 financial crisis, "most investors are ready for change at the top now."
Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Bernard Orr