Jeff Immelt was the 9th Chairman of GE and served as CEO for 16 years, transforming GE into a simpler, stronger, and more focused digital industrial company. Immelt revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce and culture, positioning GE for the future. During his tenure, industrial earnings doubled and GE returned $143B in dividends, more than in the cumulative history of the company.
Immelt was willing to disrupt GE reshaping the company’s portfolio during the last decade, with bold moves such as the $260 billion sale of GE Capital assets, the acquisition of platforms in Life Sciences and Renewables, adding global energy leader Alstom, the combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes, and the divestitures of legacy businesses like GE Appliances, NBC Universal and Plastics. He was the architect of the GE Store, leveraging GE’s unique scale to drive growth. Under his leadership, GE re-established market leadership with technological innovation, grew a strong share position in essential industries, and built a backlog of $320 billion.
Immelt led several innovative transformations during his tenure. GE is the pre-eminent global company with more than 60% of its revenue coming from outside the U.S. Under his leadership, emerging market revenue quadrupled. GE became the first Digital Industrial building a strong digital platform in GE, establishing leadership in the Industrial Internet. GE is well positioned to lead the next revolution in productivity through additive manufacturing. GE has been a leader in important growth themes, like clean energy, through its ecomagination initiative. GE remains one of the top 10 most valuable brands in the world, and has consistently been viewed as the best company for developing leaders.
Immelt held several global leadership positions since joining GE in 1982, including roles in GE’s Plastics, Appliances, and Healthcare businesses. In 1989, he became an Officer of the company and, in 2000, was appointed Chief Executive Officer.
He has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s. Since he began serving as CEO, GE has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and the Financial Times. He has received fifteen honorary degrees and numerous awards for business leadership.
Under the Obama administration, he chaired the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Immelt earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.