Industrial conglomerate GE is once again reaching into its healthcare business to find an executive to lead the company. The firm has named GE Healthcare President John Flannery to replace Jeff Immelt when he retires as chairman and CEO at the end of the year.
Immelt is retiring as part of a succession plan implemented by GE's board of directors in 2011. He has been chief executive of the overall company since 2001, when he took over the position from Jack Welch after spending several years leading GE Medical Systems, which changed its name to GE Healthcare in 2004.
Flannery has led GE Healthcare since 2014. He began his GE career in 1987 at the company's GE Capital division, and in the 1990s he was a leader in GE's corporate restructuring and workout group.
In 2002, he became CEO of GE Equity, leading the business through a difficult cycle, until moving to Asia in 2005 to lead the Asia-Pacific region for GE Equity. In 2009 he moved to India to lead GE's operations in that country.
After a stint at GE Corporate where he led the acquisition of Alstom, Flannery in 2014 was tapped for GE Healthcare, where he led the turnaround of the business, growing organic revenue by 5% and growing margins by 100 basis points in 2016.
While at GE Healthcare, Flannery continued the company's success in its core imaging business, emphasized the creation of digital platforms, expanded GE Healthcare's Life Sciences business through bioprocess solutions, and added key technology to its cell therapy systems business, according to GE. He also launched GE's Sustainable Healthcare Solutions business, focusing on bringing "disruptive technologies" to healthcare providers across emerging markets.
To replace Flannery at GE Healthcare, GE has promoted Kieran Murphy to the title of president and CEO. Murphy joined GE Healthcare in 2008 from filter and membrane supplier Whatman and has been president and CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences since September 2011.