Economy

Jeff Immelt stepping down as CEO of GE

Jeff Immelt stepping down as CEO of GE

John Flannery's "star had clearly risen in the past six months".

As of Monday morning, GE's shares were up 2.6 percent. That said, Immelt's departure comes amid mounting investor impatience, particularly given the stock's underperformance relative to peers, despite having completed what we see as one of the most transformational periods in the company's history.

This story has been corrected to say that the former CEO of GE is Jack Welch, not Welsh. "GE has completed $260 billion of asset sales for GE Capital since 2015, acquired global energy leader Alstom, announced the combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes, and divested legacy businesses like GE Appliances, NBC Universal and Plastics".

Yet investors were unimpressed. Immelt's insistence that the process culminating in the end of his 16-year tenure began four years ago has not quieted speculation that shareholder pressure was a factor. Peltz has pushed GE under Immelt to deepen cost cuts to boost profits.

"GE may not necessarily need a drastically new message, but it needs a new messenger", said Barclays analyst Scott Davis.

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In a statement, the BSF said it is investigating the incident to find out where the lapse was and the officer responsible for it. He condemned the entire scenario and stated that no officer should have such objectionable content on an official computer.

Flannery stated in a video broadcast on Facebook that he would "take a fresh look at the company" with a "sense of urgency". "We're in an incredible position to go forward".

Mr Immelt rejected any notion that outsiders influenced his resignation.

Mr. Flannery will review the businesses and doesn't come into the job with any sacred cows, but no major changes are anticipated at this time and there is no mandate to shake up the portfolio, the person said.

He will assume chairman duties following Mr Immelt's retirement on December 31.

GE advanced 3.6% to $28.94 in NY, the biggest gain since October 2015. GE has dropped 12% this year through Friday, compared with an 8.6% gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

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Mr. Flannery, 55 years old, is a 30-year veteran of GE who spent much of his career in the company's once sprawling financial business. In 1989, he became an executive officer at the company and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997, according to Immelt's biography on GE website.

Mr Flannery has been credited with leading the turnaround of GE Healthcare since 2014, increasing organic revenue by 5% and margins by 100 bps in 2016.

Mr Immelt "brought his best every day", Mr Welch said.

Trian Fund Management has put heat on Immelt as GE's share price lagged the larger market this year, but has never publicly called for his ouster. He also built up the oil and gas division just before crude prices plummeted.

Trian took a big stake in GE almost two years ago. GE on Monday reaffirmed its 2017 outlook while omitting mention of next year's profit target of $US2 a share.

European politicians hope for softer Brexit following the UK's General Election result
Confident of a sweeping victory, Mrs May had called the snap election to strengthen her hand in the European Union divorce talks. The British Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn , is set to gain seats following the British election, according to exit polls .

"Working in the background, the activist Trian may have turned up the heat", Deane Dray, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note.


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