GE’s Jeff Immelt Steps Down Earlier than Expected

Jeff Immelt

John Flannery

BOSTON (AP) — General Electric says Jeff Immelt is retiring three months early because the company's transition to a new CEO is going well.

The conglomerate announced Immelt's departure Monday. He had led the company as its CEO since 2001 before announcing in June he was stepping down. He was originally to hold on to the chairman role until the end of the year.

The GE press release said, “Jeffrey R. Immelt retired as a director and Chairman of General Electric Company’s Board of Directors (the 'GE Board') in light of Mr. Immelt’s determination that the CEO transition has proceeded smoothly and that John L. Flannery, Chief Executive Officer, director and Chair-Elect, was ready to succeed Mr. Immelt as Chairman of the Board.”

“The Board concurred and elected Mr. Flannery as Chairman of the Board effective October 2, 2017.”

GE executive John Flannery took over as CEO in August, and now will add the chairman title.

Immelt reshaped GE after taking over from legendary CEO Jack Welch. He led the company through the financial crisis and then sold off many of the financial services businesses that Welch had added, along with GE's appliance unit and NBC television. Then Immelt acquired businesses in the power, oil and gas sectors. GE shares gained more than 300% during Immelt’s time as CEO.

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