South University Online
Dr. Patrick Udeh
January 30, 2012
Case Study: GE: Jeffrey Immelt – Change in Strategy, Style and Culture In all companies changes in strategies, style and culture are experienced when management changes occur. This was no different with GE. As Jack Welch stepped down as CEO after 20 years, Jeffrey Immelt was chosen as his successor. He had some big shoes to fill.
“Immelt became the hero of GE at one of the most difficult times in American economic history” (Regani & George, 2009, p. 146). Not only was the U.S. experiencing a recession and the bursting of the dot.com bubble, but 4 days after he began his term as …show more content…
Immelt’s leadership changed the organizational culture at GE dramatically. Jack Welch was more concerned with production and the performance of the employees, while Immelt was focused on innovations, customer satisfaction and value. Immelt and Welch both practiced the “firing of the least effective 10 percent of its workforce each year” (Regani & George, 2009, p. 148). However, they differed in their approach. Welch made the firings public and made it known within the organization why the firings took place but Immelt was more subtle in his approach (Regani & George, 2009, p. 148).
Jeffrey Immelt was much more of a people person and Jack Welch seemed like a dictator. Employees were fearful of Welch and of the procedure of firing nonperformers. They were never sure if they had done enough to avoid being in that 10 percent (Regani & George, 2009, p. 144). It created a lot of stress and pressure for the employees. Immelt was friendlier and employees found him more approachable. “Describing Immelt’s style of functioning, an article in Business Week