Jeff Immelt to retire as GE CEO, Flannery to succeed

Jeff Immelt to retire as GE CEO, Flannery to succeed

(From L) United States industrial conglomerate General Electric (GE) chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, Vice President, Corporate Business Development at GE, John Flannery and chairman of the Commission of Economic Affairs at the National Assembly, Francois Brottes, attend a hearing on May 27, 2014 at the National Asembly in Paris.

The official changeover will come in 2018, when Immelt, 61, officially retires on December 31, 2017. His biggest critic is Trian Fund Management, an activist investment group led by Nelson Peltz, which has compiled a 2.3 percent stake in GE.

Although not detailing specific plans, Flannery did say digital will be at the heart of GE's strategy.

Two company-paid life insurance plans for Mr Immelt also provide a combined death benefit of $US24.2 million.

GE shares, which had fallen 12% year to date, rose 3.3% to $28.88 in premarket trading.

Flannery, named the next CEO of GE on Monday, will spend the next few months meeting with investors, customers, and employees, and reviewing "all aspects of the company", a spokeswoman said in an e-mail. Overall, GE's stock has dropped 30 percent since Immelt took over for Jack Welch in 2001, making it the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during that period, according to MarketWatch.

GE Capital was called a "systemically important financial institution" in the years that followed - the official name for a lender that the government considers too big to fail.

Still, Wall Street investors haven't been impressed with the company's performance.

The reaction came in response to the company announcing that Jeffrey Immelt will end his 16-year tenure as GE's chief executive this summer.

"GE needed a new messenger".

Mr. Flannery said, "Today's announcement is the greatest honor of my career". Successor John Flannery, who ran GE's health-care division, promised "a sense of urgency" but gave no specifics.

Sixteen years leading a company like this is enough time.

Flannery, 55, will become chief executive of GE on August 1.

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

Mr Immelt rejected any notion that outsiders influenced his resignation. The new CEO may be more willing to pursue a much-needed breakup of the company, Davis said.

Working within a number of divisions worldwide, Flannery's expertise and focus has made him a prime candidate for the role, in addition to his long-standing commitment to the business and drive it in the right direction and improve company operations. The appointment is the result of succession planning that's been under way since 2011, the company said.

"It is unimaginable, at least to me, that they would walk away from health care when it was nearly certainly the No. 1 factor in their decision to come to Boston", Coburn said, adding he has met with Flannery many times and called him "exceptionally smart".

GE advanced 3.6% to $28.94 in NY, the biggest gain since October 2015.