General Electric and Tyco in Sleaze Scandals

Article excerpt

United States sleaze scandals deepened on two fronts yesterday.

Jack Welch, the former chief executive of General Electric, said yesterday he had given up free use of corporate jets, a sprawling New York apartment and other generous retirement benefits after facing criticism since they were revealed in his divorce.

And Tyco International shares were hit on claims the company is planning to make a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by disclosing that millions of dollars of previously undisclosed loans were made to dozens of employees with payments subsequently waived on the instructions of ex-chief executive Dennis Kozlowski.

Mr Welch's decision, which pundits believe could halt lavish executive retirement packages funded by shareholders, came as the US markets' top regulator said it was investigating the highpowered executive's employment and retirement contracts.

Mr Welch, who retired from GE a year ago after 21 years as chairman, said he expected to pay GE around pounds 1.5 million a year for such services as use of company aircraft and the company apartment. He also said he would provide no-cost consulting services to GE on an as-needed basis.

He said he had asked the GE board to modify his postemployment contract 'by eliminating everything except the traditional office and administrative support given for decades to all retired GE chairmen and vice chairmen'. …