GE’s Communications and Public Affairs Team Changes Leadership

FAIRFIELD, CT. – GE has announced that Gary Sheffer, chief communications officer, will retire from the Company at the end of 2015 after 16 years of distinguished service, including 12 years leading the GE Communications and Public Affairs team. Deirdre Latour, currently senior director of external communications, will succeed Sheffer in the role effective April 1. 

Sheffer joined GE in 1999 after 17 years in journalism and government communications, including serving as a press aide to two New York governors. He led the global communications and public affairs function for the Company for the past 12 years, including helping direct the Ecomagination and GE Works campaigns. He guided the Company’s communications strategy through the financial crisis.  Sheffer is chairman of the board of the Arthur W. Page Society, a membership organization for senior public relations and corporate communications executives. He also serves on the board of the Institute for Public Relations, GE Foundation and the GE-Reagan Scholarship Program. Sheffer earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in English from Siena College in Loudonville, New York.

“Gary has developed one of the best communications teams in the world,” said Beth Comstock, president & CEO, GE Business Innovations and chief marketing officer. “He has been an extremely respected and influential leader in our company for many years and has successfully helped shape and strengthen GE’s reputation during volatile times.”

Latour has served as senior director of external communications since 2013. In that role she was responsible for building and executing a communications strategy to enhance and protect the reputation of GE, including financial communications, issues and crisis management and external communications for the CEO, CFO and CMO.  In the new role, she will lead GE’s communications function globally, including internal/external communications, public affairs, executive communications, public relations, and functional talent development.

Prior to joining GE in 2004, Latour worked for the global public relations firm Edelman, where she was a vice president, responsible for a variety of corporate communications, brand, cause, consumer and entertainment marketing efforts for clients such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, ACUVUE and GM. Latour is a graduate of Holy Cross College.  She has been recognized by the industry including being named the Corporate PR Person of the Year by PR News and one of the 40 under 40 Influencers by PR Week.

“Deirdre is a strategic communications executive with a proven track record of success,” said Comstock. “Her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge will be a great asset in managing our global team to further enhance GE’s reputation.” 

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