• GE replaces CEO as it writes down $23 billion

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

General Electric has replaced its CEO, with John Flannery leaving the company after just over 12 months at the helm, to be replaced by Larry Culp, who was formerly the chief executive of manufacturing group Danaher. Mr Flannery’s replacement is in some ways no surprise, given that the company’s share price dropped 50% during his tenure, but in other ways is something of a shock, as his reign is the shortest ever in GE’s 126-year history. The previous CEO, Jeff Immelt, was in place for 16 years. Contributing to Mr Flannery’s demise was the concurrent announcement that the value of the company had been written down by US$23 billion (€19.8 billion) after the struggles of its power arm, particularly but not exclusively relating to the purchase of Alstom in 2016. As the Financial Times explains, it appears that the US$10.1 billion GE paid for Alstom was too high, as the book value of the assets it acquired was in fact negative US$7.2 billion. (The difference was accounted for as “goodwill”.) Mr Culp is expected not to change the overall strategy of Mr Flannery, which was to slim the company down by selling assets, but will instead focus on improving the company’s operational performance, probably by cost-cutting within the power division.