Washington Mutual trimmed the bonus of Chairman and CEO Kerry Killinger by nearly 35 percent to $1.93 million in 2004 from $2.94 million in 2003.

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Washington Mutual trimmed the bonus of Chairman and CEO Kerry Killinger by nearly 35 percent to $1.93 million in 2004 from $2.94 million in 2003. His salary remained $1 million, according to a proxy filing yesterday.

“We applaud that type of move,” said Ryan Batchelor, specialty finance analyst at Morningstar. “When a company struggles and its shareholders struggle, it’s only fair that top management shares in the pain.”

WaMu’s profit dropped 26 percent in 2004, to $2.88 billion, largely because of problems in its mortgage business, a high cost structure and losses in its hedging program.

In 2004, Killinger’s annual compensation included $53,390 for his personal use of company air transportation, $28,716 for related taxes, $10,000 for tax and financial-planning services, a $10,000 automobile allowance and $3,240 in parking payments.

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He received a long-term incentive-plan payout valued at $8.9 million and “all other compensation” of $314,893.

The nation’s largest thrift also said yesterday that three directors are resigning from its board.

Douglas Beighle and William Schulte are leaving because of a corporate policy requiring directors to resign at age 72. Their resignations will be effective Aug. 31.

Elizabeth Sanders is taking a sabbatical from public-company directorships after combating cancer last year.

“I’m in good health, but I needed to reevaluated my life,” said Sanders, 59, whose resignation will be effective April 20, the day after WaMu’s annual meeting.

“It’s no reflection on Washington Mutual or any of the other boards from which I’m resigning,” she said. “I have only very positive feelings about what is happening at Washington Mutual.”

Sanders, a former vice president and general manager of Nordstrom, also is resigning from the boards of Denny’s, Wolverine World Wide, and Wellpoint.

WaMu said its board’s governance committee is leading a search for new board members.

The proxy filing also said Craig Tall, vice chairman for corporate development, resigned Feb. 14 from the company’s executive committee. Tall is the person many people credit with assisting Killinger in a growth strategy that turned WaMu into a financial-services powerhouse.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com