John Flannery gets down to business restructuring General Electric
THIS should have been one of the darkest weeks in the history of General Electric (GE). The firm founded by Thomas Edison has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a stockmarket index comprised of leading American companies, for over a century. Alas, mismanagement and a failure to move with the times have turned the erstwhile icon of innovation into a disorganised, debt-laden mess. GE’s shares have plunged to below a quarter of their peak value in 2000. On June 26th GE was ejected from the Dow index and replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance, a big health-care firm.
Yet on that same day a ray of sunshine also fell on GE. John Flannery, an insider known for his number-crunching skills who took over as the troubled firm’s boss last August, announced details of a much-awaited restructuring plan. Over the next couple of years GE will spin off its healthcare division and unwind its newish stake in Baker Hughes, a petroleum-services firm. He had previously confirmed the sale of…Continue reading