Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE, interviewed by Mark A. Weinberger, EY Global Chairman & CEO

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Session recap

The man called one of the world’s best CEOs for one of the world’s most respected companies said the trick to being a big company is making size an advantage, not a disadvantage, and staying nimble.

Those were just a few of the key points that GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, shared with Mark A. Weinberger, EY Global Chairman & CEO.

To stay nimble, GE is creating a culture of simplification based on four principles: lean management, customer and market intensity, processes that lead to speed and a strong IT or digital foundation.

The company has been around so long because of its commitment to purpose. When Immelt meets student recruits, he shows them the company’s products and tells them, “If you come to work for GE, you’re going to sit in the front seat of history,” he said. GE aligns the challenges of the 21st century with the ability to earn money, and it’s using innovation to solve problems.

As chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Immelt worked with fellow CEOs, economists and labor leaders to zero in on what it will take to create a competitive society: strong education and training, a vibrant small and medium-sized enterprise sector, infrastructure and a curb on regulation.

The conversation offered an opportunity to learn Immelt’s definition of leadership. It takes competitiveness, a hunger to learn, risk-management skills, resilience and authenticity.

Watch the conversation below.

Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO
Keynote speaker
Jeffrey R. Immelt speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Jeffrey R. Immelt
Chairman and CEO

Jeffrey R. Immelt is the ninth Chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001. Mr. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE’s Plastics, Appliances and Healthcare businesses. He became an officer of GE in 1989 and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. A couple years later, in 2000, Mr. Immelt was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Immelt has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s, and since he began serving as Chief Executive Officer, GE has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” in a poll conducted by FORTUNE magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and the Financial Times. Mr. Immelt was the Chair of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Mr. Immelt earned a BA in Applied Mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.

Interviewed by
Mark A. Weinberger speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Mark A. Weinberger
EY Global Chairman & CEO

Mark A. Weinberger became EY Global Chairman & CEO on July 1, 2013. With 175,000 people in more than 150 countries, the global EY organization is one of the largest professional services organizations in the world. Mark has served in a variety of leadership positions for EY, most recently as Global Vice Chair, Tax from 2008 to 2012. He was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury (Tax Policy) in the George W. Bush Administration and was also appointed by President Clinton to serve on the US Social Security Administration Advisory Board. Mark sits on the boards of numerous organizations including Catalyst, The Tax Council, and the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. He co-chairs the Russia Foreign Investment Advisory Council and plays an active role in the World Economic Forum. Mark holds a BA from Emory University, an MBA and JD from Case Western Reserve University and a LLM from Georgetown University.