GE’s Long Turnaround Attempt: Timeline

Four rough years in the corporate icon’s history.
Lauren MuskettApril 21, 2021
GE’s Long Turnaround Attempt: Timeline

Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s book, “Hot Seat,” recounts the many missteps that occurred during his time as head of the conglomerate. But even after Immelt retired, the company struggled as new management failed to act quickly to chart a new course. Here’s how a famous American company known as a proving ground for corporate finance executives became the poster company for declining industrial giants.

Jeff Immelt

Aug 1, 2017 | $24.45*
CEO Jeff Immelt retires, John Flannery, head of GE Healthcare, becomes chief executive.

Oct 9, 2017 | $23.43
CFO Jeff Bornstein announces he will leave the conglomerate in December after 28 years. His replacement is Jamie Miller, CEO of GE Transportation.

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Oct 20, 2017 | $23.83
GE records its largest earnings miss in 17 years and lowers cash-flow projections by $5 billion; Flannery calls the results “unacceptable.”

John Flannery

Oct 23, 2017 | $22.32
Following a 90-day review of the company’s financial situation, Flannery says he will “run the company for cash generation.”

Nov 13, 2017 | $19.02
GE cuts its quarterly dividend in half due to weaker-than-expected cash flows in power; pension costs; and hefty insurance claims from financial operations.

Dec 2017 | $17.71
The company cuts 12,000 jobs at GE Power as part of $1 billion in structural cost reductions.

Jan 16, 2018 | $18.21
CEO Flannery says management may consider breaking up the company. GE also takes a $6.2 billion charge stemming from prior-year losses in its life & health reinsurance portfolio.

Jan 24, 2018 | $16.44
GE loses $10 billion in the fourth quarter and discloses that the SEC is investigating the company’s fourth-quarter charge.

May 7, 2018 | $14.07
GE warns subprime unit WMC Mortgage could go bankrupt over litigation costs.

Jun 26, 2018 | $13.74
The Distributed power business is sold to private equity firm Advent International for $3.25 billion, part of a plan to divest $20 billion in assets.

Larry Culp

Oct 1, 2018 | $12.09
The GE board ousts Flannery after 14 months on the job; appoints board member and former Danaher CEO Larry Culp chief executive.

Oct 30, 2018 | $9.79
GE takes a $22 billion goodwill impairment charge related to the Alstom acquisition. The SEC later widens its investigation of the company’s accounting practices.

Feb 25, 2019 | $10.40
The biopharma business is sold to Danaher for $21 billion, after GE rejected an approach a year earlier.

Apr 24, 2019 | $9.32
WMC Mortgage seeks bankruptcy protection, after GE paid $1.5 billion to settle Department of Justice charges for misrepresentations of subprime loans.

Jul 31, 2019 | $10.45
CFO Jamie Miller departs; GE raises guidance for a key cash-flow metric.

Carolina Dybeck Happe

Nov 25, 2019 | $11.58
Carolina Dybeck Happe
, CFO of Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, is hired as CFO.

May 27, 2020 | $7.29
GE sells its iconic lightbulb business to home automation company Savant Systems.

Dec 10, 2020 | $11.32
GE pays $200 million to settle an SEC probe that alleged it misled investors about the power business’s profits and rising insurance claim costs.

Mar 11, 2021 | $12.27
GE agrees to combine its aircraft-leasing unit with Ireland’s AerCap in a $30 billion deal and proposes an unusual 1-for-8 reverse stock split.

*Closing stock price