Friday, 23 June, 2017

GE's stock is jumping on news CEO Jeff Immelt is retiring

Laurie Berry | 18 June, 2017, 22:59

Flannery, who will assume the CEO role August 1, seems poised to continue that emphasis.

General Electric Co said on Monday CEO Jeff Immelt would step down, capping a 16-year term that included steering the conglomerate through the financial crisis and divesting its struggling lending business. And I think we've got it well on track, " Mr. Immelt said at an investor conference. The company acquired the power business of France's Alstom three years ago.

He also worked on the shrinking GE Capital, the initial public offering of GE's Synchrony Financial unit and the sale of GE Appliances for $3.3 billion in 2014. He has transformed the GE portfolio, globalized the company and created a vision for the GE of the future by positioning the company to lead in digital and additive manufacturing.

"If you go through the assignments I've had, and I say this in all modesty, there have been results", Flannery said. "We're not starting from a weak position at all".

Mr Immelt said he'd been planning for several years to step down around now, and the final agreement came at last Friday's board meeting. After more than a century in operation, the company has been willing to change to meet the evolving demands of today's grid.

Flannery, 55, current president and CEO of GE Healthcare, will succeed Jeff Immelt, 61, who will remain board chairman through his retirement from the company on December 31, when Flannery will take over the chairmanship. Last month, Mr. Immelt told analysts the board had been working on succession plans but didn't indicate a decision was imminent.

It all added up to a 30% fall in GE's market value since 2001when Immelt replaced the fabled Jack Welch who led the company for two decades.

Overseas Box Office Rescues The Mummy
That puts it on course for as high as $380 million in the United States and a money maker on a $200 million budget. Tom Cruise starrer The Mummy which released yesterday has received a lukewarm response at the Indian box office.

Despite investing heavily on developing digital products, from sensors in jet engines to augmented reality software, shareholders have been wary of the company's new direction. While CEO, GE returned $143 billion to investors in dividends, more than in the entire prior history of the company.

Despite a corporate overhaul that many lauded, Immelt has not had the same success as Welch did with the stock. Trian immediately pushed for asset sales and cost cuts.

Even if it didn't force the CEO change, Trian will likely continue to wield influence. It said its board set the summer of 2017 for Immelt's departure as far back as 2013.

Analyst Robert McCarthy at Stifel Nicolaus wrote in a note to clients that the timing of the change in leadership was "unsurprising since the serial underperformance of the stock". General electric is 125-years-old and is the oldest member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Flannery began his career at GE Capital in 1987, where he focused on evaluating risk for leveraged buyouts.

Immelt won widespread praise in 2015 for a plan to sell the bulk of the volatile GE Capital business and closing the Alstom deal amid heavy political pressure in France.

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