GE: Flannery Out; Culp In

30-year GE man lasts merely one year in precarious top spot

Welp, that was quick. John Flannery lasted merely one year at the helm of General Electric Co., replaced yesterday by H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., as the embattled company’s CEO.

Culp is a GE board member and the former chief of the Danaher Corporation, a conglomerate that makes a variety of scientific, medical, and automotive products—all of which are areas the company had emphasized during its restructuring under Flannery.

A quick swan song for Flannery: he was inserted to one of the most difficult situations in recent business memory. Many experts believed he was on the right track. If only he’d had more time…although, taking too much time for his turnaround plan also appears to be the precise reason for his replacing.

As part of the surprising news, GE also announced a 23 billion dollar markdown of its power unit.

While the change is undoubtedly jarring, the aforementioned pace of Flannery’s turnaround plan was reportedly frustrating both GE shareholders and the board of directors at the company. While the lack of continuity continues, at least on former GE exec believes the “new blood” approach is reason to be optimistic. “Any organization needs stability, continuity of direction. So this change in 14 months doesn’t help steady the ship,” former GE transportation systems and power systems executive Bob Nardelli told CNN Wedesday. “Hopefully Larry will get in there, he’ll be very direct, he’ll be very candid, very deliberate in his decisions, consistent in decisions … and that will help.” It has certainly been a boost for GE’s stock in the immediate fallout:

Culp, 55, was named to GE’s board in April. He was president and CEO of Danaher from 2000 to 2014, during which time he quintupled the size of the science and technology company. Danaher’s structure now includes four major business units: Environmental & Applied Solutions (packaging, water purification, other enhancements for the food & beverage industries), Dental (precision tools & lights), Life Sciences (medical research equipment), and Diagnostics (healthcare software and other products).

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