Obama Picks GE CEO Immelt to Lead New White House Economic Panel

General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt will become the head of a new presidential panel called the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. It replaces to a large extent the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which was chaired by former Federal Reserve Chief Paul Volcker. Volcker was essential in crafting the new financial and bank rules that were passed by Congress. He did not have the deep contacts with business that might have served as a bridge between the private and public sectors as each struggled to shrug off the impact of the recession.

Media reports say that President Obama will officially name Immelt when he visits a GE facility in upstate New York.

"The president and I are committed to a candid and full dialogue among business, labor and government to help ensure that the United States has the most competitive and innovative economy in the world," Immelt told the Washington Post. He added, "My hope is that the council will be a sounding board for ideas and a catalyst for action on jobs and competitiveness."

But is Immelt the right person for the job? Or would he be better off focusing on GE, a company that has faltered under his leadership? GE may be a large conglomerate with businesses that operate around the globe, and this may give Immelt a special perspective. But the company is hardly a shining example of the best of American business. Its financial services division has been troubled and it has failed in its attempt to turnaround its entertainment division NBCU, the controlling interest of which was recently sold to Comcast (CMCSA).

GE's shares traded at $40 when Immelt took the job as CEO. The stock price is now about $18. GE has sharply underperformed the DJIA over that period. The company continues to have substantial problems. Perhaps Immelt would be better off spending full time on his day job.


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Meadhh

WHO IS THIS MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE? FIRST HE BASHES THE HELL OUT OF BIG CORPORATIONS, TRIED TO DESTROY CAPITALISM AND NOW, HIS CONSULTANT IS THE CEO OF A HUGE CORPORATION TO GIVE OBAMA JOB GROWTH ASSISTANCE. OBAMA IS A FRAUD AMERICANS,
HIS ACTIONS CONSTANTLY MISLEAD AMERICANS, HE MUST REALLY THINK WE ARE STUPID. OBAMA MAY BE A HARVARD GRADUATE, BUT WE AMERICANS ARE A HELL OF A LOT SMARTER!!!!
Well, I must say, our country is also comprised of the dumb and stupid!!!!!

January 21 2011 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
johntcas

Like giving the keys to the vault to Jesse James...

January 21 2011 at 10:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
myrtlebeachsobol

This is why I sold my GE stock when he was first went on the President's committee. He needs to take care of GE business.

January 21 2011 at 8:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ajallenky

This is the same man selling out to China by selling airline technology to the Chinese - this is nothing more than payback for NBC's ( owned by GE ) mouthing for Obummer and ALL Democrats in the 2008 election. This is the change that you voted for !!! Obummer never ceases to amaze with his empty rhetoric and false promises - 2012 is right around the corner so we can clean out the rest of this absurd Administration !!!!

January 21 2011 at 7:54 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ajallenky's comment
ebo1d

this is the same , i'm not you should label him as a man, this guy is SCUMBAG, SHOULD BE IN PRISON FOR TREASON!!!!

January 21 2011 at 9:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply