A General Electric veteran for more than three decades, John Flannery in 2017 was appointed chairman and CEO of the world’s largest digital industrial company, operating in 180 countries around the world.
Flannery joined GE in 1987, and spent more than 20 years at GE Capital holding various leadership roles in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia. In 2009, he was appointed president and CEO of GE India, and in 2013, head of business development for all of GE. Flannery helped oversee significant portfolio transformation including significant acquisitions and divestitures in GE’s financial services and industrial portfolios.
Prior to his appointment as CEO, he led the turnaround of GE Healthcare, establishing technology leadership in core imaging, creating digital platforms and solutions, and expanding its life sciences and cell therapy systems businesses. Flannery also launched Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, bringing disruptive technologies to healthcare providers across emerging markets.
Last month GE announced plans to spin off its health-care unit and divest its stake in oil services company Baker Hughes over the next two to three years.
“We’ve changed many things, but the essence of GE endures,” Flannery said in a subsequent conference call with analysts, according to TheStreet.com. “This team had fought through the last 12 months with superhuman resolve and determination…We are motivated first and foremost by making a positive difference in the world.”
GE’s core moving forward will be its aviation, power and renewable energy businesses, he said, adding that the company’s “technology stack has never been stronger” in aviation, but results of late at the power business have been “unacceptable.” However power is a “turnaround story and we are confident in our ability to improve the future operating performance.” Indeed, these three business lines, now GE’s “center of gravity,” are collectively stronger than they would be “if innovated in isolation.”
“We are certain that with focus and a strong balance sheet GE will be a tech-driven growth story again within the coming years,” Flannery said.
Later that day in an interview with “Squawk on the Street,” the CEO
said he was very satisfied with GE’s turnaround efforts to date.
“I’m a believer,” he says. “I’m very comfortable. When we have seen issues along the way, we’ve serviced them, we’ve dealt with them and I think today is another example of that.”
Moreover, GE won’t announce any additional restructuring initiatives – “We are finished.”
He’s No. 14 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies.
John Flannery, GE
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Education: Fairfield University (B.A.), Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (M.B.A.)
First joined company: 1987
Positions prior to being named CEO: Head of Business Development
Named CEO: 2017