Jeff Immelt

Chairman and CEO, General Electric (2001–2017)

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Jeff Immelt was the 9th Chairman of GE and served as CEO for 16 years, transforming GE into a simpler, stronger, and more focused digital industrial company. Immelt revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce, and culture, positioning it for the future. During his tenure, industrial earnings doubled and GE returned $143 billion in dividends, more than in the cumulative history of the company.

Immelt was willing to disrupt GE, reshaping its portfolio with bold moves such as the $260 billion sale of GE Capital assets, the acquisition of platforms in Life Sciences and Renewables, adding global energy leader Alstom, the combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes, and the divestitures of legacy businesses like GE Appliances, NBCUniversal, and Plastics. He was the architect of the GE Store, leveraging GE’s unique scale to drive growth. Under his leadership, GE reestablished market leadership with technological innovation, grew a strong share position in essential industries, and built a backlog of $320 billion.

Immelt led several innovative transformations. Under his leadership, emerging market revenue quadrupled and GE became the pre-eminent global company, with more than 60% of its revenue coming from outside the U.S. It also became the first Digital Industrial, building a strong digital platform and establishing leadership in the Industrial Internet. Immelt positioned GE to lead the next revolution in productivity through additive manufacturing and to lead in important growth themes such as clean energy. Upon his departure, GE was one of the top ten most valuable brands in the world and consistently viewed as the best company for developing leaders.

Immelt held several global leadership positions since joining GE in 1982, including roles in GE's Plastics, Appliances, and Healthcare businesses. In 1989, he became an Officer of the company and, in 2000, was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Immelt was named one of the “World's Best CEOs” three times by Barron's. During his tenure as CEO, GE was named “America's Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World's Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times.

Under the Obama administration, Immelt chaired the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences and has received fifteen honorary degrees and numerous awards for business leadership.

Immelt earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.