The last GE Man

IF ANYONE DOUBTS that David Calhoun, who becomes Boeing’s new boss on January 13th, is taking on one of the world’s most difficult jobs, think again. On January 8th the firm was caught up in a new tragedy: the deaths of 176 people aboard a Boeing 737-800 passenger jet bound for Ukraine that crashed shortly after take-off in Iran. The aircraft involved is different from the 737 MAX planes that went down in two air disasters, in October 2018 and last March, killing 346 people and plunging Boeing into crisis. All the same, getting to the bottom of the accident amid open hostility between Iran and America will be yet another headache for a new CEO fighting to save the skin of the world’s biggest aerospace company.

Lucky then, you might think, that Mr Calhoun is a “GE Man”: the latest in a long line of chief executives (all male) schooled at the knee of Jack Welch. Over the decades since Mr Welch gave up his Messianic leadership of GE in 2001, his subalterns like Mr Calhoun have walked tall—often literally, as in the case of Jeff Immelt, who succeeded Mr Welch at the industrial conglomerate—across the corporate landscape. They have run big American firms, such as 3M, Chrysler, Home Depot, Honeywell, and foreign ones, like ABB of Switzerland. Nowhere have GE veterans had such an impact as at Boeing, which has been under the sway of Mr Welch...

via Business Feeds

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