Immelt's 2008 compensation was valued at $14.1 million, down from $19.6 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 53-year-old CEO said he had recommended to the board that he receive no bonus for 2008 and declined a payout under the company's long-term incentive plan.

Given the circumstances, I recommended to the board that I not receive this payout, Immelt said in a statement posted to the company's Web site.

Shares of the world's largest maker of jet engines and electricity-producing turbines lost more than half their value last year -- and have continued to slide through the first weeks of 2009 -- as weakness at the company's GE Capital finance arm contributed to a 22 percent fall in profit.

Pay for four other top company officials -- including its chief financial officer, the heads of the GE Money and GE Technology Infrastructure unit and the former head of NBC Universal media -- rose, reflecting the payouts under the long-term incentive plan.

It is important that the board and I have the freedom to compensate our senior executives in a fair and reasonable way, Immelt said in the statement.

GE shares rose 4 cents to $10.85 in pre-market trading, up from a $10.81 close on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Derek Caney and Steve Orlofsky)