General Electric Co. has announced that it will reorganize its 11 businesses into six industry-focused divisions and has named a new management team in the conglomerate’s first major overhaul since Jeff Immelt took over as chairman and chief executive officer in 2001.
The six businesses are GE Infrastructure, GE Industrial, GE Commercial Financial Services, NBC Universal, GE Healthcare, and GE Consumer Finance.
The company has also named three new vice chairmen: Dave Calhoun, Michael Neal, and John Rice. All three are currently presidents and CEOs of GE businesses; they will act as advisers to the board of directors.
Rice, who will lead the industrial unit, came up through the finance ranks. After earning a BA in economics from Hamilton College, he joined the company in 1978 as a member of the Financial Management Program, and joined the corporate audit staff in 1981. “He will accelerate our efforts to improve growth rates, margins, and cash in these global businesses,” said Immelt in a statement.
Immelt also stated that the changes would enhance the company’s financial transparency by providing key financial data for significant units within the six businesses. The Wall Street Journal noted that the new appointments, which give Immelt a younger senior team, also seem designed to retain executives who might be courted for the chief executive position at other companies.
GE also announced that vice chairman Dennis D. Dammerman, who joined the Financial Management Program in 1967 after graduating from the University of Dubuque, will retire at the end of this year. Dammerman, who has been chairman of GE Capital Services since December 1998, was previously senior vice president-finance, and has been chief financial officer of GE since March 1984. He was elected to GE’s board in December 1994 and has been a director of GE Capital Services for 16 years.
“Dennis Dammerman’s value to GE cannot be overstated,” said Immelt. “He has helped lead the growth of our financial services businesses, helped build our financial and controllership capabilities, and has been a teacher, advisor, counselor to innumerable GE executives, including me.”