In a surprise move, GE’s board on Monday removed its CEO and chairman, John Flannery, 14 months after he took over the ailing energy, health and transportation conglomerate and replaced him with Lawrence Culp Jr.
Culp, a GE board member, was chief executive of Danaher Corp from 2000 to 2014.
In another change, Thomas Horton of GE board was made the lead director.
Culp said his first priority will be improving GE’s balance sheet and reducing its debt load. GE shares went up by 14% in early trading as investors hoped Culp could re-energise the brand.
However, GE warned there would not be any profit forecasts this year as it would take $23-billion charge to write off goodwill in its core power business.
GE’s woes only deepened after Flannery became CEO in August last year. Despite trimming the staff and shedding businesses, he could not turn around the company.
GE’s shares went down by half after Flannery became CEO in August last year. Shares fell to a nine-year low last month after a pair of power plants were closed due to oxidation problem in marquee gas turbines.