General Electric (GE) CEO and Chairman Jeff Immelt is stepping down after 16 years at the helm of the company. His replacement will be GE Healthcare President and CEO John Flannery, who will take over the CEO role on August 1 and the chairman position at the beginning of 2018.
“During this time of dynamic global markets and relentless focus on technology and operational excellence, there is no better person to lead GE than John Flannery,” Jack Brennan, lead independent director for GE’s board of directors, said in a statement. “He brings unique experience and a strong skill set to the job. John has spent almost half of his career living outside of the United States and has led complex financial and industrial businesses all over the world, including running GE Healthcare, GE in India and the business development team for GE through the successful acquisition of Alstom. John has had a direct influence on the company’s direction, its financial health and its position as the world’s premier digital industrial company.”
Flannery has led GE Healthcare since 2014. The company credited him with turning around the unit, increasing organic revenue by 5 percent and margins by 100 basis points in 2016. He began his GE career in 1987, working his way through its capital and equity divisions.
“Today's announcement is the greatest honor of my career,” Flannery said in a 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.”
Taking over Flannery’s position will be Kieran Murphy, who is currently CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences. Since taking that role in 2011, the division has seen “significant revenue growth and geographic expansion of the molecular medicine business,” according to GE, with more than $4 billion in annual sales and 11,000 employees.
He received praise from the outgoing GE CEO and chairman in a separate press release regarding his promotion.
“Having led the strategic combination of GE's Life Sciences and Medical Diagnostics units, Kieran is universally respected across GE and has distinguished himself as a strong customer advocate with great commercial instincts,” Jeff Immelt said. “Alongside the outstanding team at GE Healthcare, we anticipate that the business will experience continued global growth under Kieran's leadership.”