Driven by activist investors, General Electric continues to cut costs and restructure and reconfigure the enterprise. This will result in the loss of approximately 12,000 employees (globally) in it power division. The company avoids the issue of activist investors and cites the replacement of coal and other fossil fuel systems by alternative energy systems as the primary driver of the restructuring. It is no secret that major shareholder Trian Fund Management has been pressuring General Electric to dump non-performing and under-performing assets. The GE Board appointed the hedge fund’s chief investment officer and a founding partner, Edward Garden, to its board to ensure Trian’s voice will be heard loud and clear.
The newly-appointed replacement for CEO Jeff Immelt, John Flannery, has announced that he plans to restructure the enterprise, selling more than $20 billion in assets and cutting at least $1 billion in costs. Flannery has some big shoes to fill in replacing Immelt, who himself was challenged to replace the legendary GE CEO Jack Welch. Flannery has impeccable credentials having built GE Healthcare into a dynamic powerhouse and serving for 20 years in various capacities with GE Capital.