Saturday, 20 October, 2018

GE unexpectedly removes its CEO

GE CEO John Flannery GE shares soar after CEO John Flannery ousted; Larry Culp takes helm
Johnnie Parks | 03 October, 2018, 22:43

General Electric is making a change at the top, naming Lawrence Culp, former head of tech firm Danaher Corp.to replace CEO John Flannery.

Last week, shares in the company fell seven percent, pushing GE's market capitalization below $100 billion and causing Wall Street analysts to cut their price targets.

GE now expects to miss its 2018 earnings forecast and take an impairment charge for nearly all of the US$23 billion of goodwill associated with its power segment.

In the press release, Mr. Culp said, "GE remains a fundamentally strong company with great businesses and tremendous talent".

Shares of General Electric Co., based in Boston, surged 11 percent in midday trading.

Davis said GE's power business is fixable but suffered from "a lot of excess capacity and bad execution decisions" and the stock price has probably already adjusted to expectations of no contribution from power.

Just six months after taking over as CEO, Flannery said the company would be forced to pay $15 billion to make up for the miscalculations of an insurance subsidiary.

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In other boardroom news Monday, drugs behemoth Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) saw its shares lose 0.18% to stand at $43.99 before the NY bell.

Earlier this year GE announced plans to dramatically reshape the company, with plans to sell off a range of businesses including healthcare, transportation and oil & gas, while focusing on three core industrial pillars: Power, Renewable Energy and Aviation.

Flannery's departure from GE is driven by "slow pace of change" under his leadership, CNBC reported, citing a text from a source. That's one reason why the company also said that it would record a $23 billion noncash impairment charge relating to its GE Power business, effectively writing down all the goodwill on its balance sheet from prior acquisitions in the segment, including Alstom.

He brought familiarity with many of GE's flagship business units, but that alone would not suffice.

The stunning shakeup underscores the magnitude of the crisis at GE, which has lost half a trillion dollars in market value since the peak in 2000. That deal gave GE more exposure to older coal plant technology at a time when coal plants were being shut down as too costly.

GE's board, meeting in the last few days, unanimously picked Mr Culp as its new CEO. The stock was an original member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, but was unceremoniously removed in June. "The market seems to be welcoming a change in leadership but the new CEO will be facing numerous same problems".

"Investors grew impatient with the lack of improvement and with the sheer scale of the problems uncovered". The company said that the goodwill impairment charge is likely to constitute all of this balance.

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