General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt to retire

Owen Stevens
June 14, 2017

Flannery, 55, began his career at GE Capital in 1987 where he focused on evaluating risk for leveraged buy-outs.

The new GE chief has turned around many businesses of GE around the globe, including Argentina, Chile, Japan, Korea and Australia apart from India.

Flannery, 55, who is now president and CEO of GE Healthcare, joined GE Capital about three decades ago.

NOGUCHI: Immelt stabilized GE, eventually spinning off its GE capital unit and other assets. In our view, the balance of delivering near-term results while positioning the business for the long haul is a trade-off that Flannery knows well from his recent role in GE Healthcare.

"John is the right person to lead GE today", Immelt said in a Monday press release. He has broad experience across multiple businesses, cycles and geographies.

Activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management bought a stake in GE in October 2015, the largest single investment the firm had ever made, and now worth about $2 billion. "He will be trusted by investors, our customers and the GE team".

Electricity has always been a core business at GE, which emerged from Thomas Edison's early attempts at monetizing power generation and distribution. With extreme competence, and a talent for bringing out the best in people, Immelt steered the company through events such as Sep.

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In 2005, GE launched Ecomagination, a strategy to drive more efficient, clean innovation across the various business units. GE Healthcare's revenue rose to $18.29 billion in 2016, back to levels it sustained in the beginning of the decade, while increasing operating profit.

Since Immelt became CEO, GE's shares have declined 30 per cent, while the S&P 500 index more than doubled. And Immelt withdrew GE nearly entirely from financial services, which once accounted for about half of sales.

In 2008, GE Capital had been producing more than half of the company's profit.

Mr. Brennan added, "Jeff has positioned the company incredibly well for the future".

It was 1989, he was the president of consumer service for GE appliances, when crisis hit the company.

Jeff Windau, an analyst at Edward Jones, likes the GE story, particularly restructuring out of capital. He knows thousands of GE people all over the world and worked relentlessly to simplify the culture and unleash the GE entrepreneurial spirit. This is part of succession plan GE put in place in 2011.

"We are all ears on the new narrative", Tusa said, adding that Flannery will be constrained from making radical changes that could threaten the company's dividend. "He is a strong and courageous leader who can make tough decisions while inspiring his teammates", the company said.

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