General Electric Chief Executive Officer John Flannery presents the company's new strategy and financial targets to investors at a meeting in New York, US. -Reuters
General Electric Co's new Chief Executive John Flannery on Monday outlined steps that will turn the biggest US industrial conglomerate into a smaller, more focused company, surprising some investors who sold the company's shares to a five-year low. Flannery's plan to shrink GE's multi-industry array of businesses was a reversal of the deal-driven empire building of his predecessors, Jeff Immelt and Jack Welch, and potentially a milestone in the decline of the conglomerate as a business strategy.
Other companies that once emulated the GE model of spreading bets among diverse industries are now unwinding their portfolios as well, something Immelt also did throughout his 16 years as CEO, even as he made acquisitions. Flannery said he will pare GE down to three core businesses: power, aviation and healthcare. He will keep Immelt's strategy of building software to complement GE's machinery.
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