A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Major changes in the organizational structure of General Electric (GE; Fairfield, Connecticut), including the streamlining of the company's businesses into six operating units from the present 11, were reported by CEO Jeffrey Immelt last week.

Among the six is GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK), which also will get a new president and CEO when the incumbent in those positions, William Castell, retires in July 2006.

Joe Hogan, who has been president and CEO of GE Healthcare Technologies (Waukesha, Wisconsin) since GE's April 2004 acquisition of Amersham (Little Chalfont, UK) and the resulting creation of GE Healthcare and movement of the business unit's global headquarters to the London area, will replace Castell in the top job at that time.

Hogan began his GE career in 1985 in the GE Plastics organization and joined GE Medical Systems, the predecessor to GE Healthcare, in April 2000 as vice president of global e-business. Within six months, he had been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer and then to president of GE Medical in November 2000 when Immelt was promoted from that post to president and chairman-elect of the parent company.

According to the Journal-Sentinel in Milwaukee, the Waukesha operations of GE Healthcare accounted for $11 billion of the $14 billion generated by the business unit as a whole last year.

In revealing the corporate restructuring, Immelt said the changes will enable GE to "leverage our exceptionally deep leadership team to accelerate growth and improve productivity." He said the changes could save the company between $200 million and $300 million.

The other five industry focused units in the restructured company include GE Infrastructure, GE Industrial, GE Commercial Financial Services, GE Consumer Finance and NBC Universal.

Immelt, who referred to the changes as "a natural evolution in a company like GE," said that they "will accelerate GE's growth in key industries."

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