General Electric named veteran insider John Flannery as its next chief executive, taking over from Jeff Immelt who is stepping aside after 16 years at the helm. Fred Katayama reports.
General Electric's Jeff Immelt will soon step down as CEO. Taking over: John Flannery who heads its healthcare businsess. He's been with the company for almost thirty years. He started with leveraged buyouts and later led the corporate restructuring group. He also helped turn around the healthcare unit. Immelt will leave the helm in August after 16 years in the corner office. Under him, GE sold off a number of its businesses, including the finance, broadcasting, and appliance units. It instead focused on higher-margin service and software-related businesses and cut costs. But the company failed to deliver the profit growth as fast as some investors hoped. Since Immelt became CEO in 2001, GE shares have lost a third of their value. Kevin Mahn of Hennion and Walsh. (SOUNDBITE) KEVIN MAHN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, HENNION AND WALSH, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "He obviously navigated GE through some very trying times, but, if you look at the performance of the stock itself, it's the worst performing stock in the Dow Jones over his tenure. Year-to-date, the shares, I think they are down eight percent, the market is up roughly eight percent, so perhaps the time is right for him to step aside." GE stock rose on the news. Flannery's appointment ends a six-year long succession planning program.