President Obama's Jeffrey Immelt departs underperforming GE& What is to be done? @MaryKissel @WSJOpinion

Jun 16, 2017, 03:48 AM

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President Obama's Jeffrey Immelt departs underperforming GE& What is to be done? @MaryKissel @WSJOpinion

http://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-journal-farewell-jeff-immelt/4747F31E-F1DA-42CE-8035-3EB32A52362F.html

"JEFF IMMELT looks as if he was born to be a chief executive. Tall, affable and energetic, he was picked to run General Electric in 2001 after an interminable and mildly sadistic selection process run by GE’s then CEO, Jack Welch, at the time America’s most celebrated boss. On June 12th Mr Immelt said he would retire, replaced by John Flannery, who runs the firm’s health-care arm. The departing boss has reshaped GE radically but his legacy is mixed. Part of that reflects what he inherited. GE was not in nearly as good a shape as Mr Welch liked to pretend. Its share price was overvalued, pumped up by hype about Mr Welch’s talents. Its profits were inflated by gains from its pension scheme and its financial division, which had grown at breakneck speed and which contained big risks. Mr Immelt tried to take GE back to its core as an industrial firm that makes sophisticated products such as power equipment and jet engines. It has been a revolution of sorts. The firm is more global, with 57% of sales from abroad compared with 29% when Mr Immelt started.

Latest updates Junichiro Tanizaki, chronicler of change PROSPERO 11 HOURS AGO Speakers’ Corner signs off SPEAKERS’ CORNER 13 HOURS AGO Markets are losing faith in Donald Trump GRAPHIC DETAIL 14 HOURS AGO American Airlines reverses a pledge to squeeze legroom further GULLIVER 16 HOURS AGO Retail sales, producer prices, wages and exchange rates 17 HOURS AGO Foreign reserves 17 HOURS AGO See all updates But these efforts have been overshadowed by two mistakes. First, Mr Immelt was slow to recognise just how dangerous GE’s financial arm was. By 2007 it contributed 55% of profits and had racked up over $500bn of debt. When the crisis struck its funding dried up and its profits collapsed. Mr Immelt deserves plaudits for shutting most of it down in 2015, but by then the damage was done...."

http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21723363-john-flannery-has-more-room-surprise-upside-general-electric-picks-new-boss