NEW YORK Oct 17 The next chief executive of
General Electric Co , the largest U.S. conglomerate,
could be a non-U.S. national, CEO Jeffrey Immelt said on
Immelt, speaking at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in
New York on Monday, said the next leader needed to have a
global view and an ability to pick great products, but the
company's list of potential successors included several
"If I look at a deep list of GE CEO candidates that could
take my job in the next five to ten years, there is a list of
people that are non-U.S. citizens that could run this company
some day," Immelt said. "And there's a great list of Americans.
We've got a very good, global leadership team."
Immelt, who took over the helm of GE from Jack Welch in
2001, said his chief accomplishments were making the company
more global and developing the company's technology, boosting
spending on research and development to 6 percent of sales.
"Good managers can't make up for bad products," Immelt
said. "A nose for technology, a nose for markets, understanding
the cross-currents that digital connections create -- that's
what the next CEO has to be about."
Currently, all four of GE's vice chairmen -- the highest
rank beneath the CEO's office -- are U.S. citizens. GE's global
operations chief, John Rice, recently relocated to Hong Kong to
be closer to the key China market.
GE shares were down 1.1 percent at $16.42 on Monday