Would Jeff Immelt Really Be The Right Man For The Uber CEO Job?

By | August 21, 2017

corporate leadership photo

Jeff Immelt was at the helm of General Electric from 2000 until his departure at the beginning of August. Speculation now is that he may get the Uber CEO position!

Why does his performance at GE’s helm indicate that he would do well as CEO of the troubled transportation technology firm?

In general the decision about succession planning is one of the most the most critical that faces any organization whether a large and far-flung technology business like Uber facing severe growing pains, a small local and closely held family-run company, a sports team at any level or a charity. To name just a few.

This new leader will be responsible for strategic planning, maintaining or changing the culture and much more! And in addition he or she will need to possess attributes such as:

Ability to learn from the past. …
Strong communication skills. …
Building relationships. …
Realistic optimism. …
Understanding. …
Listening skills. …
Willingness to take calculated risks. …
Reading people and adapting to necessary management styles. …
Coaching employees effectively. …
Thinking outside of the box. (Source)

It now comes to pass that Jeff Immelt, a corporate leader who has been at the helm of one of the worlds largest, most mature and certainly diversified companies, is rumored to be the leading candidate for the CEO position at Uber.

So while Uber is definitely large and definitely all over the world, in some ways it is still akin to a start-up faced with an enormous amount of growing pains.

So is this job actually in Immelt’s sweet spot, or is he simply a well known and well respected name from business who will potentially bring immediate credibility to a firm that has lost a great deal of its luster?

And equally as important, has Jeff Immelt actually done a great or even a good job at General Electric?

In a world where corporate leaders of public companies are often measured by the performance of the company stock, the chart below that tracks GE stock versus the S&P 500 would seem to indicate that he has not!

The General Electric Stock Price (Blue Line) Has Far Underperformed The S&P 500 (Green Line)!

Source: Yahoo Finance

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