What is GE's succession plan?


GE's succession plan under Jeff Immelt involved a comprehensive evaluation process to identify the next CEO. Key activities included:

  • Positioning potential candidates in significant roles to assess their capabilities, like John Flannery in healthcare and Jeff Bernstein as CFO.
  • Extensive evaluations conducted by the board as well as external consultants.
  • A unique requirement was for all vice chairmen to write essays on each candidate, arguing why they should or should not be CEO.
  • The board had specific criteria for selecting the next CEO.

Jeff Immelt noted the difficulty of managing succession during challenging times, such as when facing market downturns and pressures from activist investors, compared to more stable periods 1.

GE's Succession Plan

Jeff Immelt, former CEO of GE, discusses the succession planning process at GE and the challenges he faced during his tenure, including market headwinds and a team that wasn't up to the challenge. He also explains the importance of peer interactions in rising in one's career and how a team's dedication to fixing things is crucial for a leader's success.

The Knowledge Project

How Jeff Immelt Lead General Electric Through 9/11 & 2008 | The Knowledge Project 116