General Electric ditches boss John Flannery and takes $23bn hit

Oct 02, 2018, 02:07
General Electric ditches boss John Flannery and takes $23bn hit

AP/Richard DrewGeneral Electric Chairman & CEO John Flannery is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

H. Lawrence Culp Jr. on Monday became the first outsider to run General Electric in its 126-year history, highlighting the need for new blood to revive the troubled conglomerate.

GE has endured a hard year in which it has lost more than half of its stock market value and been ejected from the Dow Jones Industrial Average after more than a century's membership. Culp led Danaher from 2000 to 2014, helping grow an industrial company into a broader conglomerate through a series of acquisitions, while growing earnings.

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GE warned Monday that it will miss its profit forecasts this year and it's taking a $23 billion charge related to its power business.

GE Power's current goodwill balance is about $23 billion and the goodwill impairment charge is likely to constitute substantially all of this balance, the company said, though cautioning the charge is not finalized and subject to further review.

While noting that while Culp has work to do, "I wouldn't want to bet against Larry", Davis added. GE will report third-quarter results later this month.

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FILE PHOTO: General Electric Chief Executive Officer John Flannery presents the company's new strategy and financial targets to investors at a meeting in NY, U.S., November 13, 2017.

Mr Culp said: "GE remains a fundamentally strong company with great businesses and tremendous talent". So, by putting an end to Flannery's almost 2 year tennure at the company and bringing a trusted leader on board to replace him, the company has excited investors.

Flannery vowed to give GE more of a high-tech and industrial focus by honing in on aviation, power and renewable energy - businesses with big growth potential. Thomas Horton, the former CEO of American Airlines who also joined GE's board this year, was named lead director. It's cut the dividend twice since the more recent financial crisis. Culp specifically cited improving GE's balance sheet and reduce its debt load, but acknowledged that he and his team "have a lot of work ahead of us".

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