Ten years of Jeff Immelt at GE: A look back
Here’s what Scott Malone has to say about today’s special report: “GE thrives, Wall Street yawns, Immelt charges on.”
The ten years that Jeff Immelt has led General Electric Co go down as some of the most tumultuous the world has seen in half a century.
From the 9/11 attacks, which hit days after Immelt took the reins from Jack Welch, to the financial crisis of 2008 that rocked its GE Capital finance arm and threatened to swamp the whole company, his years as CEO have been rocked by crisis.
For all that, the 55-year-old executive has emerged with what some describe as a far simpler, safer GE — once more making most of its money by making and servicing high-end capital equipment like jet engines and electric turbines.
In a recent interview at his Fairfield, Connecticut, office, Immelt said that GE is on a far stronger footing for the years ahead. His future hopes are pinned on two major strategies — continuing to invest heavily in research and developing and aggressively building the company’s position outside the United States to take advantage of quicker economic growth in big developing markets.
Having seen the company’s shares more than triple from the 18-year-low they tested in early 2009, investors said they are by and large satisfied with Immelt’s leadership. Stronger earnings growth, plus a return to raising the dividend, could set the stage for a rebound in GE shares, some said.
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