GE removes Flannery as CEO, takes $23 billion charge for power


Struggling industrial conglomerate General Electric abruptly removed John Flannery as chairman and CEO on Monday after only a year on the job, and installed former Danaher CEO Lawrence Culp as his successor.

GE shares, which had fallen to a nine-year low last week, surged in reaction.

GE also announced a $23 billion noncash charge for its ailing power business and said it will “fall short of previously indicated guidance for free cash flow and EPS for 2018,” as many on Wall Street had warned.

Flannery’s removal was driven by the board’s frustration with the slow pace of change under his leadership, and not driven by the power business woes, sources familiar with the issue told FridayCrypto.

Culp, 55, was named to the GE board in April. He served as the CEO and president of Danaher from 2000 to 2014, during which he quintupled the size of the science and technology company.

GE shares closed Monday trading 7.1 percent higher at $12.09 a share, after jumping as high as $13.07 a share. Last week, the stock posted one of its worst weeks of the year, down 7 percent and hitting a nine-year low of $11.21.

Flannery, 56, was appointed August 2017, taking the helm from Jeff Immelt as the conglomerate’s stock fell steadily. But GE’s value had continued to erode, setting new lows as investors remain unconvinced by Flannery’s turnaround plan. Fear of a second dividend cut for the widely owned blue chip company has also weighed on the shares. GE cut the dividend in half on Nov. 13, to 12 cents per share from 24 cents per share.

Last June, GE was kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It had been the longest-serving component of the blue chip index — 111 years.

Despite Flannery’s efforts, GE’s stagnant power business has hit new roadblocks, such as a failure of a turbine blade at the Colorado Bend power plant in Wharton County, Texas.

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