The current Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt, will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board through his retirement from the company on 31 December 2017. Furthermore, Jeff Bornstein, the current CFO, has been promoted to Vice Chair of the company. GE claims that these leadership announcements come as the result of a succession plan that has been run by the board since 2011.
Jack Brennan, lead independent director for GE’s Board of Directors, said: “During this time of dynamic global markets and relentless focus on technology and operational excellence, there is no better person to lead GE than John Flannery. He brings unique experience and a strong skill set to the job. John has spent almost half of his career living outside of the US and has led complex financial and industrial businesses all over the world, including running GE Healthcare, GE in India and the business development team for GE through the successful acquisition of Alstom. John has had a direct influence on the company’s direction, its financial health and its position as the world’s premier digital industrial company.”
Immelt said: “John is the right person to lead GE today. He has broad experience across multiple businesses, cycles and geographies. He has a track record of success and led one of our most essential businesses. Most important are his strong leadership traits – good judgment, resilience, a learner, team builder and a tough-minded individual and competitor. He will be trusted by investors, our customers and the GE team.”
Flannery added: “Today’s announcement is the greatest honour of my career. I am privileged to have spent the last 16 years at the company working for Jeff, one of the greatest business leaders of our time. He has transformed the GE portfolio, globalised the company and created a vision for the GE of the future by positioning the company to lead in digital and additive manufacturing. In the next few months, my focus will be on listening to investors, customers and employees to determine the next steps for GE.”
Brennan said: “Jeff has positioned the company incredibly well for the future. He executed a massive portfolio transformation and navigated the company through economic cycles and business disruptions. Today, GE is a high-tech industrial company with a bright future. Jeff was a particularly adept steward of GE’s culture. He knows thousands of GE people all over the world and worked relentlessly to simplify the culture and unleash the GE entrepreneurial spirit. The plan for the GE CEO transition process was set in 2011. With the GE Capital pivot behind us and the company’s transition to Boston complete, this is the ideal time for change. The board is confident that in the years to come, GE investors and employees will benefit from Jeff’s hard work.”
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