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Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt: 'The GE story is a complicated story'

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In a new interview with Yahoo Finance's Julie Hyman, former GE CEO Jeff Immelt says that he decided to write a book because he didn't believe the story of GE was being told "fully and completely."

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: I'm Julie Hyman, and I am joined now by Jeff Immelt. We mentioned there the book you released earlier this year called "Hot Seat," which effectively tells the story of your time at General Electric and its many different business lines. There's been a lot of discussion, Jeff, especially in the wake of that book about your tenure there, about the decline in market value there. I'm not really interested for our purposes today in going sort of blow by blow of what happened at GE.

But help us understand sort of how people should view your commentary and what you have to bring now to current topics and the current zeitgeist. How do you think folks should view your credibility in the wake of your time in GE and the wake of your book?

JEFF IMMELT: Yeah, Julie, so it's great to be with you, first of all. I think I wrote the book really for two reasons. One is that the GE story is a complicated story. And I think when you have a complicated story, you have to tell it fully and completely. And I didn't feel like that was happening in the context of GE. We won in our markets. We experienced globalization and digitization, but the market cap didn't grow. And all of us carry that as a burden as we go forward.

But I wanted to tell the story, a complicated story, more completely. I also think in this generation, all leadership is crisis leadership. And from 9/11 through the financial crisis and COVID and Fukushima, my team and I experienced lots of volatility. And I thought some of the storytelling and some of the lessons would be valuable to other leaders. So those are really the two reasons why I wrote the book.