GE CEO Jeff Immelt: Lowering CEO Pay Won’t Fix Our Problems

There’s extreme backlash toward big business as the economy continues to struggle.  Much focus is placed on executive compensation practices, [...]

October 20 2011 by ChiefExecutive.net


There’s extreme backlash toward big business as the economy continues to struggle.  Much focus is placed on executive compensation practices, but GE CEO Jeff Immelt thinks that those sentiments, while valid, are not the cause of our current economic woes.

An article from The Huffington Post shares Immelt’s views on how to get the economy back on track. The answer, says Immelt, is growth and working on selling our products abroad, “The only way to solve this specific problem is growth. If unemployment comes down, people will feel better. If unemployment goes up, people will feel worse, no matter what goes on Wall Street.”

And although the spread between public company CEO pay and most Americans is an issue, curbing the pay of a very small percentage of people will not be a strong solution. “The discrepancy is certainly one of the problems today in terms of why people feel the system is unfair. If CEO pay goes way down and unemployment is 12 percent, people are still going to feel bad,” he said. “It is a symptom but it is not the problem.”

And in fact, while there are a few public CEOs with exorbitant pay packages, the majority of CEOs are not making anywhere near the type of money that is getting so much publicity.  Chief Executive published its CEO and Executive Compensation in Privately Held Companies Report 2011 which details the compensation practices of over 1600 CEOs and senior executives at 789 companies.  For more information, click here.

Read: GE CEO Jeff Immelt: U.S. ‘Not Trying That Hard’ To Win Business Overseas