Lawrence Culp, new GE CEO, faces tall task reviving aging conglomerate

General Electric CEO John Flannery is seen at the company’s office in New York City

After just over a year and declines on several fronts at General Electric, John Flannery has been ousted as the leader of the century-old company.

General Electric shares had declined almost 56 percent since Flannery took over as CEO with a mandate to cut costs and refocus the company on its profitable segments.

GE shares were trading at $12.60 shortly before 10.00am Eastern on Monday. It is a privilege to be asked to lead this iconic company, ' Culp said in the company's statement. It will take a charge of about $23 billion to write down what's called "goodwill", the intangible value of the power division. He's already a member of GE's board.

While noting that while Culp has work to do, "I wouldn't want to bet against Larry", Davis added. "While GE's businesses other than Power are generally performing consistently with previous guidance, due to weaker performance in the GE Power business, the Company will fall short of previously indicated guidance for free cash flow and EPS for 2018". GE will report third-quarter results later this month.

Flannery will be replaced by H. Lawrence Culp Jr., who had the unanimous support of the board, the company said.

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Deal volume topped US$22 billion during Culp's 14 years at the head of the company, with his biggest move being the 2011 acquisition of diagnostic-equipment maker Beckman Coulter Inc. for US$6.8 billion.

Flannery replaced Welch successor Immelt, himself pushed out earlier than expected last summer after nearly 16 years at the top.

GE, however, has not seen such gains, particularly when it comes to its power business which was hit by problems with its latest generation of gas turbines and posted a $10 billion loss past year. Thomas Horton was named lead director. That could include changing the dividend policy and how GE allocates capital.

"We will be working very hard in the coming weeks to drive superior execution, and we will move with urgency, " Culp said in the statement.

Despite this, GE's share price continued to. Culp specifically cited improving GE's balance sheet and reduce its debt load, but acknowledged that he and his team "have a lot of work ahead of us".

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