General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt's $25.8 million pay package in 2012, revealed late Monday, is on the high end but is odd for its lack of stocks and options, CNN/Money reports.
This would be an unusual development if it were to become a trend.
Options took off for CEOs after the tax reform act of 1986 placed a levy on executive pay over $1 million in cash, in an effort to rein in what was quaintly thought then to be runaway pay. Options, of course, brought an unprecedented explosion of CEO pay, as the math of options gives even mediocre CEOs a windfall.
There's nothing obvious in federal tax policy that would lead to a return to mostly cash executive compensation, but many companies have moved toward restricted stock, shares a CEO must earn with key benchmarks.
Last year may have seen more cash outlays as high-rollers sought money in advance of likely higher taxes in 2013 and beyond, but that's probably not behind Immelt's cash payday. He was due for a big cash bonus on a three-year cycle, CNN/Money reported.