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Total compensation for chief of GE was $76 million in 2000

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — John F. Welch Jr., General Electric Co.'s chairman and chief executive officer, received $76 million in compensation last year, the company said Friday.

Welch's base salary was $4 million, up from $3.3 million the year before, GE reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He received a bonus of $12.7 million, up from $10 million the prior year, GE said.

Welch also cashed in stock appreciation rights last year, bringing his total compensation to $76 million, said Gary Sheffer, a company spokesman.

"It's in recognition of his 20 years of outstanding service as chairman and CEO of General Electric as well as his performance in 2000," Sheffer said.

General Electric Co. reported a 29 percent increase in profits last year, earning $12.74 billion on sales of $129.85 billion.

Welch is expected to retire at the end of the year. Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE's medical systems division, will succeed him.

Shares of GE were down $2.06 to $43.81 Friday, as the Dow Jones industrial average took a 200-point tumble.