In this segment of Motley Fool Money, the cast reflects on the news that General Electric (NYSE:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt will be retiring later this year. His tenure at the head of the massive conglomerate has been filled with ups and downs, including two major crises.
Will his successor have an easier time?
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on June 16, 2017.
Chris Hill: A changing of the guard at General Electric. Long-time CEO Jeff Immelt announced he is retiring before the end of the year. He has led GE through some tough times, Jason, but if you're grading him on the performance of the stock, I think it's fair to say that shareholders are looking forward to new leadership.
Jason Moser: Yeah, he probably walks out of there with a D-. My bet is that John Flannery has what is going to be perceived, at least, as a pretty easy act to follow. But I think a lot of that is also going to be thanks to some things that Immelt did here recently in streamlining the business and helping get it back in a direction where they can focus on points of strength. It's worth remembering, Immelt had to lead this company through at least two extremely pivotal crises -- 9/11, the financial crisis, those are things where we can't discount that. We have to remember, he did take this company through those periods of time. Obviously, Warren Buffett felt like there was a reason to invest in the company at some point. I think it's a good reminder that Buffett can often make investments that we simply can't make. I think he got $3 billion in preferred shares with a nice 10% yield.
Hill: That's nice.
Moser: Some options to buy some warrants there.
Hill: I'm glad something is finally working out for Warren Buffett.
Moser: [laughs] Sure. It certainly shows you that in investing, there are a lot of different ways to win. Again, this is a business that I think is set up to succeed here for the coming years, because they are focusing back on points of strength. We were talking with Taylor Muckerman this week about their focus on energy. I think those were all good steps in the right direction. I think if you're a GE shareholder, you're probably happy to see a changing of the guard, but you also have to feel pretty good about what's to come.