In his brief time as CEO, Immelt has kept GE dominating in its industries. Fortune magazine rated GE the #1 most admired company in America for the fifth year in a row. However, Immelt is facing many of the media problems that plagued Welch over his stay as CEO. Currently, many people in the media and business world are questioning GE. These questions surround GE’s ability to continually meet and surpass analysts’ estimates for quarterly and yearly earnings. After the collapse of Enron, who also consistently met analysts’ earnings targets, GE came under fire in the media.
Immelt has handled the situation with a large amount of self-confidence both in himself and the corporation. He responds to these questions with answers about the company’s integrity. The same integrity that Welch put in place and Immelt has carried on. Immelt has stated repeatedly that GE’s earnings are true to form and not being fabricated to meet any expectations. GE is able to meet these demands because of Immelt’s early strategies (Fox, 2002). Immelt’s Strategy Jeff Immelt brings a more relaxed style of leadership to GE than Welch did.
Immelt is much less confrontational than Welch was. However, this does not mean that he is not up for the challenge of running GE. Immelt has laid his ground plan for what he would like to see happen in GE over the next few years. Initially, Immelt is looking for new opportunities for GE to grow globally.
He is also pondering new ways in which GE can improve upon its research activities. Finally, Immelt believes that GE also needs to focus heavily on its group sales force. With these three key issues, Immelt expects to see “accelerated growth” (Hill, 2001) for GE in the upcoming years.So while the style of management and leadership might differ, the ultimate goal for GE remains the same (Hill, 2001). In 2001, Immelt and GE met the earnings targets. This was largely due to a strategy employed by Immelt that has been seen in GE’s past.
Much like Welch, Immelt noticed that some of GE’s “short-cycle” businesses (appliances, light bulbs) were doing poorly. This was largely due to the poor economy in 2001. In order to assure total success for the company, Immelt went to GE’s “long-cycle” businesses (medical systems, power systems) nd asked them to step up their performance. They did and GE met earnings targets for the year (Fox, 2002). Immelt has also carried on another one of Jack Welch’s strategies. Immelt constantly invests or restructures parts of GE’s businesses during a successful quarter. When one area of GE’s many businesses is doing well, Immelt is able to take its profits and reinvest them in order to assure continued growth and success in all markets (Fox, 2002).
Increased globalization is one of the main facets that Immelt wants to expand upon.Though the Honey-well deal fell through for GE, Immelt believes that globalization is still the direction that GE needs travel. By achieving success in globalization, accelerated growth will be reached. Furthermore, Immelt is looking to make operations become digital. This is a major change from Welch’s style. By streamlining information digitally, Immelt will be able to communicate GE’s vision clearer and quicker around the world.
Digital operations will greatly aid Immelt’s plan of globalization (Hill, 2001).