General Electric today announced that John Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, will become its new CEO effective Aug. 1 and that he will add the chairman title effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Flannery is replacing Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Immelt on those two dates. The company said the moves were the result of a succession plan that has been reviewed by the GE Board of Directors since 2011.
The 55-year-old Flannery began his career at GE Capital in 1987 where he focused on evaluating risk for leveraged buyouts. In 2002, he became the president and CEO of GE Equity and was assigned duties throughout Asia, during which time the company said he grew earnings in Japan by 100 percent, in Korea by 30 percent and in Australia by 25 percent.
In 2009, he moved to India, where he increased GE’s industrial sales by 50 percent in 2011. Two years after that he was tapped to lead business development at GE Corporate, where he focused on capital allocation for the company and led the acquisition of Alstom, the largest industrial acquisition in the company’s history. He also worked on shrinking GE Capital, the Synchrony Financial IPO and the disposition of GE Appliances.
Since joining GE Healthcare in 2014, Flannery increased organic revenue by 5 percent and margins by 100 basis points in 2016. He helped create digital platforms and solutions, expanded Life Sciences through bioprocess solutions and added key technology to its cell therapy systems business. He also launched Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, which is focused on bringing disruptive technologies to healthcare providers across emerging markets.
The 61-year-old Immelt was credited with leading the transformation of GE into “a simpler, stronger and more focused digital industrial portfolio aligned to key markets – power, aviation, transportation, healthcare and oil and gas.”
During his tenure, GE 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, divested legacy businesses like GE Appliances, NBC Universal and Plastics, and perhaps most notably for Fairfield County residents, oversaw the relocation of its headquarters last year from Fairfield to Boston.
GE nearly doubled its industrial profit during his tenure, and operating EPS was up approximately 50 percent. While CEO, GE returned $143 billion to investors in dividends, more than in the entire prior history of the company.