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Flannery takes over as GE’s chairman

GE surprised a few people yesterday announcing that Jeff Immelt had stepped down Oct. 2 as the company’s chairman, a move that was originally scheduled for Dec. 31, 2017.

John Flannery, who was formerly CEO of GE Healthcare became CEO of GE on Aug. 1, but his move into the chairman’s role was expected to become effective January 1, 2018, following Immelt’s planned retirement as chairman of the board on Dec. 31, which GE put forward in a June succession announcement. But plans can change and Immelt and GE cut ties early–yesterday.

Simonelli takes BHGE chairman’s role following Immelt’s departure

Simonelli Named Baker Hughes Chairman after Immelt Departs GE Early

Lorenzo Simonelli is Baker Hughes GE chairman, president and CEO.

The sudden departure of Immelt meant Baker Hughes, a GE Company (NYSE: BHGE), needed to appoint a new chairman. And yesterday, Baker Hughes, which became a part of GE last summer, said its board of directors had elected BHGE President and Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Simonelli as chairman of the BHGE board, effective October 2. Immelt had served as chairman of the combined GE + Baker Hughes until yesterday.

Baker Hughes said Simonelli will continue in his president and CEO role at Baker Hughes, roles he has held since the closing of the combination of Baker Hughes Incorporated and GE’s Oil and Gas business on July 3, 2017.

Further board changes at Baker Hughes

In addition to Immelt’s quick departure, BHGE board member Larry Nichols has announced his decision to resign from the board.

As a result, Baker Hughes said BHGE has reduced the size of its board to nine members and has named current GE-designee BHGE board member W. Geoffrey Beattie as the new lead director.

GE owns approximately 62.5% of BHGE, and retains five designated seats on the BHGE board.

Baker Hughes experienced a long and bumpy road when it attempted to merge with Halliburton about two years ago, which resulted in a $35 billion deal which never happened. Baker Hughes was taken under the GE wing in a combination with GE Oil & Gas in the summer of 2017, a move that placed GE deeper into the energy industrial arena, something that Immelt strongly championed.

Lorenzo Simonelli

Before joining GE Oil & Gas as president and CEO, Lorenzo Simonelli was president and CEO of GE Transportation, a global transportation provider in the rail, mining, marine and energy storage industries. During his five-year tenure, GE said he expanded and diversified GE Transportation by focusing on advanced technology manufacturing, intelligent control systems, and new propulsion solutions.

Simonelli also served as CFO Americas for GE Consumer & Industrial, as well as General Manager, Product Management for GE Appliances, Lighting, Electrical Distribution and Motors. He joined GE’s Financial Management Program in 1994. Originally from Tuscany, Italy, Simonelli is a business & economics graduate from Cardiff University in South Wales.

Baker Hughes

Baker Hughes Inc. is a legendary oilfield service powerhouse with a rich history dating back to the beginning of innovation in the oil and gas industry.

The company was formed in 1987 with the merger of Baker International and Hughes Tool Company. The two individual companies were founded a century before when R.C. Baker and Howard Hughes conceived ground-breaking inventions that revolutionized the fledgling petroleum industry.

In 1907, Reuben C. Baker developed a casing shoe that modernized cable tool drilling. In 1909, Howard R. Hughes, Sr. introduced the first roller cutter bit that dramatically improved the rotary drilling process. Over the next eight decades, Baker International and Hughes Tool Company continued to lead the industry with innovative drilling tools, products for well completions and related services. [Details sourced from BHI’s pre-GE website.]

Simonelli Named Baker Hughes Chairman after Immelt Departs GE Early

Photo: UNLV Libraries – Inspecting Drill bits at Hughes Tool Company

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