This excerpt taken from the GIS DEF 14A filed Aug 12, 2008.
Performance and Compensation Peer Groups
To assure our compensation programs for executive officers are appropriately competitive in the marketplace, the compensation committee, with the assistance of management and Watson Wyatt, benchmarks our performance and compensation against a peer group of 18 major consumer products companies. To establish this peer group, the compensation committee used the following five selection criteria:
As shown below, the median annual revenues and market capitalizations for the 18 companies in this peer group are comparable to those of General Mills. The compensation committee annually reviews the composition of this peer group to assure it is the most relevant set of companies to use for comparison purposes. The peer groups utilized for comparisons of performance and compensation are identical with the exception of three European companies (Nestlé, Unilever and Danone) that are in our performance peer group but not in our compensation peer group, due to the lack of availability of publicly reported pay information.
The following branded consumer products companies comprise our performance peer group:
*Not in our compensation peer group.
Source: Standard & Poors Compu Stat Database
* As of May 31, 2008
The compensation committee annually reviews comparisons of General Mills compensation under various performance scenarios versus peer group compensation practices to ensure our programs function consistently with our compensation philosophy and principles. Based upon these reviews, the compensation committee believes that the compensation paid to General Mills named executive officers is reasonable and appropriate.