Oct. 1 marked the fourth year that Larry Culp has served as GE’s chairman and CEO. In a note to employees that he also shared on LinkedIn, Culp recalled walking into the Boston office in 2018, feeling honored, optimistic, and mindful that he had much to learn about GE. Looking back now, he wrote, “I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together, and I hope you are as well.”
Early on, he and his team set out to improve the company’s financial position and strengthen its businesses, said Culp, who is also CEO of GE Aerospace. To that end, GE reduced its debt load by nearly $90 billion — “that’s no small feat,” he said. While there were often hard decisions to make, he wrote, “today, we have a much stronger balance sheet, and we are operating from a position of strength.”
At the same time, he said, GE has transformed into a simpler and leaner organization. “Developing a lean mindset takes many years, but we are gaining ground — removing the waste that holds us back to allow for real breakthroughs,” Culp wrote, referring to the business philosophy focused on continuous improvement.
Progress on the two objectives paved the way for the announcement last November that GE plans to form “three independent, investment-grade industry-leading public companies focused on important growth sectors in healthcare, energy, and aerospace.”
Looking ahead, Culp shared three objectives: Spin GE HealthCare in the first week of January, embed lean more deeply in operating routines, and continue to transform the culture. While he expects the macroeconomic environment to become more challenging next year, he said: “There is still much to do, but I’m confident in our future.”
Read the full LinkedIn post here.
Top image: GE Chairman and CEO Larry Culp speaking with employees at GE Aviation in Wales. Credit: GE