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General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt waves as he leaves the Elysée Palace in Paris after a meeting with French President François Hollande to discuss the future of French engineering group Alstom.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt waves as he leaves the Elysée Palace in Paris after a meeting with French President François Hollande to discuss the future of French engineering group Alstom.
(PHILIPPE WOJAZER/REUTERS)

GE takeover of Alstom would be Immelt’s legacy

Jeffrey Immelt says he’s not leaving General Electric any time soon. That may be true. But his latest deal will, if successful, set a powerful stage for whoever eventually follows him as chief executive officer. The $13.5-billion (U.S.) bid for Alstom’s power and grid assets would ensure the conglomerate derives around 75 per cent of its earnings from its industrial businesses by 2019, reducing the importance of its financial arm. And though it would take careful execution, the company may get there without compromising financial returns.