Filed under: Corporate governance

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Immelt backs tax-free GE, calls for reform

Jeffrey Immelt is head of GE and of President Barack Obama's business innovation task force. (Reuters/Molly Riley)

The chief of General Electric on Thursday defended the conglomerate’s zero tax rate in 2010 and called for reform of the U.S. tax code.

In his first public speaking engagement since a barrage of criticism about not having to pay taxes in 2010, GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt told the Economic Club in Washington that his company did nothing wrong. Get the full story »

Google to toughen privacy policy, undergo audits

Google Inc. has agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy policy and undergo 20 years of independent audits as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in connection with charges that it used deceptive tactics and violated promises to customers when launching its Buzz social network last year. Get the full story »

H-P investors just say no to executive pay packages

Bloomberg News | Hewlett-Packard investors rejected proposed compensation packages for  top executives at the company’s annual meeting Wednesday.

CEO of beleaguered J&J still got $29M in 2010

After a year in which Johnson & Johnson’s product quality control was deemed such a shambles that the U.S. government will oversee some plants, the board had praise for Chief Executive William Weldon and awarded him almost $29 million in overall compensation.

The once golden reputation of the diversified health care giant was tarnished by seemingly endless recalls of widely used consumer products as well as recalls of medical devices and products from other units in 2010. Get the full story »

$4M bonus lifts Immelt’s 2010 pay to $21M

General Electric Co. paid Jeffrey Immelt a $4 million cash bonus in 2010, after two years when the chief executive of the largest U.S. conglomerate declined a payout in the face of sliding profits. Get the full story »

Beset by recalls, J&J cuts CEO’s bonus 45%

Johnson & Johnson cut the 2010 performance bonus of its chief executive, William Weldon, by 45 percent, from 2009 levels to $1.98 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The CEO’s diminished bonus comes after a year in which the company faced repeated recalls of consumer health products, medical devices and other products that hit its bottom line. Get the full story »

New corporate structure calling at Avon

Avon Products Inc. is splitting itself into two units, focusing on developed and developing markets and shaking up its management weeks after the world’s largest direct seller of cosmetics took the blame for problems in markets such as Brazil.

Avon said it would move its six commercial business units into two major business groups. Get the full story »

No succession plan demand from Apple investors

Apple shareholders rejected demands that the company disclose a succession plan for ailing chief Steve Jobs but approved a proposal giving them a bigger say in appointing directors.

At Apple’s annual meeting Wednesday, about 74 percent of votes cast favored a proposal by Calpers that unopposed candidates for the company’s board receive a majority of votes to win election, according to the fund. Get the full story »

Baxter declares 31-cent dividend

Drug and medical device maker Baxter International Inc. said Tuesday that its board declared a quarterly dividend of 31 cents per share.

The Deerfield-based company said the dividend is payable April 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business March 10. Get the full story »

Sara Lee sets Friday webcast to discuss future

Sara Lee Corp. will hold a webcast Friday morning to provide an update on “strategic initiatives.”

The Downers Grove-based company has been the subject of rampant sale and breakup rumors since the fall that have reached a fever pitch this week. Get the full story »

BlackBerry’s corporate dominance may be eroding

Shares in Research In Motion slipped more than 3 percent on Friday morning as investors fretted the BlackBerry smartphone’s stranglehold on corporate communications was being eroded by rival devices. Get the full story »

SEC delays proxy access rule during challenge

U.S. regulators Monday delayed implementation of their rule giving shareholders more power to influence corporate boards, a win for business groups trying to overturn the rule.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable sued the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, saying its recently adopted rule was arbitrary and capricious. Get the full story »

Citi sets raises, bonuses for top 25 execs

The top 25 executives at Citigroup Inc., except Chief Executive  Vikram Pandit, are getting multimillion dollar salary raises in stock and potentially much more in bonuses.

Citi released the amounts of the raises in a public filing for its top officers Friday. Get the full story »

Sara Lee’s Brenda Barnes got $11.5 million in 2010

Brenda Barnes, the former chairman and CEO of Sara Lee Corp., received compensation valued at $11.5 million in the company’s most recent fiscal year, up 8 percent from the prior year, according to an Associated Press analysis of documents filed with regulators this week.

Filing puts GM CEO pay at $9M in cash, stock

New General Motors Co. Chief Executive Daniel Akerson  will get a pay package worth $9 million in salary and stock to run the automaker. Get the full story »