Immelt to step down as General Electric CEO

Company healthcare chief John Flannery to take over

David Tanklefsky
June 12, 2017 - 1:26 pm
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General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who helped steward the move of the company's headquarters from Connecticut to Boston, is stepping down after 16 years, the company announced Monday morning. Immelt will be replaced by GE Healthcare chief John Flannery. He will officially take over as CEO on August 1.

"Jeff has positioned the company incredibly well for the future," said Jack Brennan, lead independent director of GE's board of directors in a statement. "He executed a massive portfolio transformation and navigated the company through economic cycles and business disruptions...With the GE Capital pivot behind us and the company's transition to Boston complete, this is the ideal time for change."

The timing of the move caught some by surprise, since Immelt, 61, had been such a large part of the move to Boston. He attended a groundbreaking at Fort Point Channel last month for a new $200 million campus in the Seaport. Immelt has been with GE since 1982.

Flannery, 55, started out at GE Capital in the late 1980s, working on risk evaluation for leveraged buyouts. His work with GE's equity business has taken him to Argentina, Asia and India. He joined GE Healthcare in 2014.

"Today's announcement is the greatest honor of my career," Flannery said, in the statement. "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."

GE's stock has been trading in the upper 20s to low 30s for the past year. During the Great Recession, the stock tumbled all the way down to below seven dollars per share.

Immelt will remain as chairman of the board until the end of the year when Flannery will take over.