General Electric chief exec Jeff Immelt hands over the reins to healthcare head

Oliver Gill
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Jeff Immelt took over as chief executive of General Electric in 2001 (Source: Getty)

General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt is stepping down after 16 years at the helm, the US conglomerate announced today.

He will be replaced by current healthcare head John Flannery, himself a 30-year GE veteran.

Although GE has sold off several divisions, including its finance and broadcasting units, the group has grappled with delivering profits as fast as some investors would like.

Read more: GE cancels Electrolux merger, Electrolux shells out $175m

GE is considered an industrial bellwether as the largest industrial company in the world.

It has attracted criticism and some activist investor attention. Markets were buoyed by Immelt's plan to sell down most of banking division GE Capital in late 2015. The share price rose from $24 to $30 immediately following the sale but has flatlined since.

Immelt was due to launch a European tour this week to woo investors in London, Switzerland and Italy. But the trip was cancelled at 10pm on Sunday evening.

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