GE shakes up power unit leadership, taps retired exec to help
By Alwyn Scott (Reuters) - General Electric Co shook up its ailing power business again on Monday, naming a CEO for its new gas-power division and bringing a veteran GE executive back from retirement to help. The changes mark another step in new GE Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp's urgent effort to reduce heavy debt and restore profits at the 126-year-old, Boston-based conglomerate. It also highlights the problems at GE Power.
By Alwyn Scott
(Reuters) - General Electric Co
The changes mark another step in new GE Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp's urgent effort to reduce heavy debt and restore profits at the 126-year-old, Boston-based conglomerate.
It also highlights the problems at GE Power. Culp reorganized the division three weeks ago, separating its gas-turbine business from units that make coal- and nuclear-fuelled power plants, power grids and other equipment.
"One of my top priorities is positioning our businesses to win, starting with GE Power," Culp said in a statement.
GE stock was down 1.1 percent at $7.94 in afternoon trading. The stock has fallen 56 percent this year.
GE picked John Rice, a 39-year GE veteran who once headed its energy unit and retired last year, as chairman of gas power, reporting to Culp.
Rice's "knowledge of GE's gas customers and management experience" will help him provide "mentorship" to the new gas power leaders and "position this business and the team for success," GE said.
GE also named Scott Strazik, CEO of GE Power's repair and maintenance business, to be CEO of Gas Power, overseeing both equipment sales and services.
GE Power's current Chief Executive Officer, Russell Stokes, will become CEO of other power activities.
Strazik and Stokes also will report to Culp, GE said.
Analysts said Rice's experience would help, but were cautious about prospects for a quick improvement in power's performance.
"GE is desperate for leadership," said Scott Davis, analyst at Melius Research, adding it was smart to bring Rice back.
Rice is "a smart, prudent guy who is known for not taking any unwanted risk," said Nick Heymann, analyst at William Blair.
"Rice knows the business, but there is no quick fix," said Jeff Sprague, analyst at Vertical Research Partners.
Stokes "was handed a mess that's probably too big for one guy to fix," Sprague said of the new structure.
But, he added, "I don’t think this really changes anything."
GE Power's profits have plunged as demand for gas turbines has fallen, leaving GE, Siemens and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems with overcapacity and fewer sales.
GE Power lost $631 million and wrote off $22 billion in the third quarter, reflecting the bleak profit outlook.
(Additional reporting by Rachit Vats and Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Nick Zieminski)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.