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GE’s new CEO: ‘Results matter’

August 2, 2017 GMT

New CEO John Flannery officially took the reigns of General Electric yesterday, beginning his tenure as CEO with a call for the company to begin following up on GE’s corporate transformation with profits and results.

“None of this matters without execution. Results matter. Doing what we said we would do matters,” Flannery said in a letter to GE employees yesterday. “Now we need an intense focus on running the company well.”

GE is in the process of establishing its new headquarters in Boston. Flannery, a 30-year GE veteran who most recently was CEO of GE Healthcare, said he has been meeting with investors for the past month about how to improve profits and revenue. Flannery is taking over at a time when shares of GE are struggling thanks to disappointing profits and cash flow. Investors are also unsure of Flannery’s plans for the conglomerate. Flannery has said he would lay out his plan for GE later this year.

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Former CEO Jeff Immelt transformed GE from a company deeply involved in everything from finance to television, but returns from the more focused company were hard to come by. That played a significant role in Immelt’s departure.

“Investors have gotten impatient on the stock, what we need is some actual performance,” said Jim Corridore, an analyst with CFRA. “This is one of the biggest and most complicated companies in the world.”

Immelt’s latest signature initiative was turning GE into a digital industrial company, a move Flannery only briefly mentioned in his letter. Flannery instead focused on listening to customers and make an impact.

“I’m excited about our future,” Flannery wrote. “We do hard, gritty work that brings power to towns that don’t have electricity and health care to people in remote villages.”