Tuesday, October 17, 2017

General Electric’s cloud CEO steps down

Announcement comes as company stock falls 10% in 2017 alone.

Multinational General Electric (GE) has today announced that its CEO Jeff Immelt is retiring after heading the company for 16 years.

Immelt, 61, who succeed on September 7, 2001, CEO Jack Welch who served GE for 20 years, is due to be replaced on January 1, 2018 by GE Healthcare’s current CEO John Flannery, 55. GE’s CFO Jeff Bornstein has been promoted to the role of vice chairman of GE.

However the boardroom shake dropped on the wires unexpectedly, the stepping down of Immelt had been rumoured for months following reports of a clash with a major investor.

Trian Fund Management has previously highlighted GE’s inability to reach financial targets over a number of quarters.

GE has since put into practice a $2bn cutting program, which also saw the company change how executive bonuses are paid.

Consequently, Immelt’s remuneration fell 35% from $32.9m in 2014 to $27.5m in 2015, according to company documents.

GE posted in 2016 revenues in the excess of $123.7bn with a net income of $8.83bn. Assets where worth $365.2bn for the FY 2016.

The company stock has fallen 10% in 2017 alone, in contrast to what is happening in the wider markets GE operates in which have seen stock increase in value.

Following the news of Immelt’s retirement, GEO stocks were up between 3% and 4% in premarket trading.

Of the many innovations Immelt supervised during his term, one that has in recent years placed digitalisation at the top of the industrial players agenda was the creation of GE’s public cloud platform, Predix Cloud.

The cloud is based on the Predix software, and is used to harvest and conduct big data analytics on information sourced from sensors placed in a range of networked devices in industries that include healthcare, aviation and energy.

The company has also made the service available in its own data centres, as a as-a-service offering.

Immelt said at the time of the launch: “A more digital hospital means better, faster healthcare. A more digital manufacturing plant means more products are made faster. A more digital oil company means better asset management and more productivity at every well.

“We look forward to partnering with our customers to develop customized solutions that will help transform their business.”