April 15 - GE CEO Jeff Immelt may step down sooner than his expected 20-year tenure, the Wall Street Journal reports. GE's stock price is still below where it was when he took over. Fred Katayama reports.
The company known for bringing good things to life is considering shortening the corporate lifespan of its CEO. GE chief executive Jeff Immelt may step down sooner than his expected 20-year tenure at the top. The Wall Street Journal reports that Immelt and the board have discussed cutting back the tenure to 10 to 15 years. And sources indicate directors expect Immelt to leave before hitting his 20-year mark, according to the daily. He has been at the helm for nearly 13 years. That's nearly double that of the tenure of the average CEO. But turnover is as slow as a water filter at GE. Immelt is only the 11th chief in its 122-year history. Jack Welch held that post for two decades. He's had a rough ride. The 9-11 terrorist attacks struck four days after he assumed the corner office. GE's stock is still well below when he took charge and lags far behind the S&P 500's performance over that period. Among the frontrunners for his job: The Journal cites Lorenzo Simonelli, who runs GE's oil and gas business, and Steve Bolze, who heads its largest unit, power and water. Immelt will have a say. He's GE's largest insider shareholder.