1. How difficult was the task Immelt faced when he assumed the CEO role in 2001? Any imperative changes? Any incentives to maintain the past operation?
There are two main difficulty faced by Immelt when he assumed the CEO and the first one is the economic situation. Four days after Immelt took over the role of CEO, terrorist attacked the World Trade Center and triggered a hug economic downturn worldwide. This incident not only diminished the internet bubble stock market, but also dropped the stock price of GE by 20% within a week. Eventually, customers lose confident in global economic market. Furthermore, Enron has bankrupted and make whole situation even worse.
Another obstacle Immelt faced was the legacy effect of Jack. Jack was a great CEO who drived consistant annual growth and earnings. He also bought GE into a highly structured company. More than that, he can made clever deal and timely acquisitions. Due to pass success, Immelt is required to do even better that Jack so as to meet his own and shareholders expectation.
Therefore, imperative changes have to be made. Immelt recoginsed the need for a change in the working model of GE. The traditional method was no longer work and the new way to drive profit is by innovation. For instance, GE needed to improve its transparency over its operation and took more social responsibility so as to build a good corporate image. Therefore, Immelt wanted to improve the operation method based on the core elements of the company’s past success which a competitive advantage that others cannot be followed easily.
. He wanted to take company into “big, fundamental high technology infrastructure industries”.
2. Was Immelt’s approach to taking charge different from Jack Welch’s first few years after becoming CEO in 1981? Did they face similar tasks?