GE's Joe Hogan Heads for ABB

Posted by: Diane Brady on July 16, 2008

I find myself intrigued by the news that General Electric executive Joe Hogan has left for ABB. It’s a time-honored tradition, of course, to pluck chief executives from the management ranks of GE. But it also comes at an interesting time for GE. Hogan is the second senior exec to leave GE in recent weeks, with former GE Aviation head Scott Donnelly also leaving to join Textron.

I wonder if the moves are less a sign of discontent in the ranks of GE—as the stock continues to struggle—and more a sign of greater pressure to perform within GE.

Hogan is a contemporary of GE chief executive Jeff Immelt. He took over the business where Immelt made his greatest mark—GE Healthcare. While Hogan did well the last quarter, though, he has presided over some tough times at the $14 billion unit. This is a business that’s supposed to shine. John Dineen, Hogan’s successor, likely has to ramp up results.

Reader Comments

Wally Bock

July 18, 2008 5:52 PM

Nice post, and you ask a question that's devilishly tough to answer since individual ambitions, career trajectories and circumstances vary so much. This could also be a sign that Immelt won't be going any time soon and if a top player wants to make their own way, they've got to leave. Or, it could be that the kids are now out of school so I can take that new position.

Investor

July 20, 2008 11:46 PM

Great post. It seems there is indeed something going on to have seasoned senior players leaving GE. All cannot be right within the leadership ranks. If one takes a look at the annual report from one year to the next it is shocking to see the levels of attrition that have occurred.

Diane

July 21, 2008 11:15 AM

I'm not sure if the high turnover is due to attrition (which would be a logical conclusion, given the performance of the stock and how important that is in motivating top executives). I think it may be a case of Jeff Immelt holding his top people to tougher standards in this environment as he's under greater pressure to perform. He's still looking to the long-term growth of GE in making decisions around the portfolio, but he has to respond to the immediate environment, too. Investors want to see stronger results. It's one thing to be managing the appliance business or consumer finance, where market forces are pulling you down. It's another to be in a hot sector like healthcare, where your boss expects you to deliver stellar results.

joe

July 31, 2008 1:01 PM

Well, now we know, don't we. GE Consolidated some divisions, and the top guys in businesses that were consolidating decided if they weren't report to the Chariman & CEO directly, then they would move to other Companies. Always more complex than that, but this is life at GE, and the fact that Rice is the new guy leading the Technology unit demonstrates that Hogan and Donnelley probably didnt have stars shining as brightly as others.

Former Employee

August 7, 2008 1:06 PM

GE Healthcare has been struggling for two years! Since since FDA shut down OEC, and market conditions haven't been good he hasn't been able to turn it around. Many here think Joe saw the hand-writing on the wall.

Also Left

August 19, 2008 7:24 PM

Diane likes to do the politically correct thing; graciously say that it was his choice to leave, in too many words. Look, he was responsible for HC. HC is in a shambles, and will be even more so when the FDA is finished in Milwaukee in this latest round of inspections. Once the dust settles, it will be a complete rebuilding project. You just can't ignore the quality side of your products (and maintain revenue growth at the same time) for seven years without having to pay for it at some point. Joey was asked to leave because he couldn't right the ship. Don't make it sound like such a mystery, or better yet, like he is such a martyr. The rest of his 'D-' Team should be asked to leave soon as well. We will see the real answers once the consent decree is signed in Waukesha.

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