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Ex-GE CEO Immelt 'Unhappy' With Perception Of His Time At Helm

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Jayson Derrick
·2 min read
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Former General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Immelt is author of a new book, "Hot Seat," in which he shares an inside look at his tenure at a former Dow Jones component that fell out of grace with investors.

What Happened: Immelt told CNBC's Jim Faber in an interview that his book focuses in part on why he thinks criticism of his leadership is unfair and "hurt a lot of people."

Immelt inherited an iconic company from an iconic CEO, Jack Welch, who retired in 2001.

Immelt was on the receiving end of harsh criticism during his tenure, including from CNBC's Jim Cramer, who said Immelt earned a spot in his "Wall of Shame."

"I'm wholly unhappy about the narrative that has been created," the former CEO said.

Related Link: 10 Great Jack Welch Quotes On Leadership, Developing Talent And More

Why It's Important: Immelt's tone in the interview makes it clear he accepts much of the blame for GE's woes during his tenure.

Perhaps the largest disappointment at GE under Immelt's watch was overpaying for France-based Alstom's power assets.

"I'm harder on myself than anyone else," Immelt said. "But it was a complicated deal, with difficult markets, where we didn't have a team aligned with execution. I, again, own that, as does the board in terms of where we positioned at that time."

What's Next: Immelt said in his book that in many cases, "simpler is better.

"All leadership is crisis leadership. And I think to a certain extent, this team, me, went through a lot together that others can learn from," he said.

Photo by WRI Staff via Wikimedia.

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