GE's Player Roster

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2007-06-14 Print this article Print

GE Who's Who: When legendary CEO Jack Welch looked to deploy a Six Sigma campaign, he turned to CIO Gary Reiner.


Gary Reiner
Named CIO by then-CEO John (Jack) Welch in 1996, Reiner was not only put in charge of corporate I.T. operations, but also made responsible for managing GE's then-fledgling Six Sigma program, a framework for improving processes. Reiner oversees the information systems that support GE's far-flung business units and their respective operating divisions. The architect of the company's balanced mix of centralized and decentralized I.T. operations, Reiner delegated CIOs at the business-unit and division levels to make their own decisions on technologies they need to purchase or build to grow their businesses.

Jeffrey Immelt
Saddled with the toughest act to follow in corporate America—retiring legendary CEO and best-selling business- book author Jack Welch—Immelt took over in September 2001. Despite growing GE by 65% and doubling earnings, Immelt has had a bumpy ride that could get bumpier. Over the past five years, GE stock has underperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, despite posting solid year-to-year gains in revenue and earnings. Immelt faces pressure from some uneasy investors who believe they could realize greater shareholder value if GE were broken up.

Sigal Zarmi
Managing Director and COO, GE Energy Financial Services Energy Financial Services
Formerly CIO of GE's Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Zarmi serves as the Energy Financial Services unit's chief information officer. Zarmi is responsible for operational due diligence, acquisition integration, and optimization of investment companies to realize maximum benefits from both process and technology improvements.

Hank Zupnick
CIO, GE Real Estate
A financial industry veteran, having worked at Bankers Trust and Citibank before joining GE in 1995, Zupnick is responsible for managing GE Real Estate's information-technology activities supporting the business unit, except for shared services provided by centralized I.T. He also is responsible for finding ways to use Lean Six Sigma to improve business processes with the help of information technology.


John (Jack) Welch
Former CEO, GE
During his tenure from 1981 to 2001, GE's market capitalization increased from $13 billion to $400 billion. Welch admits he came late to the e-business revolution, but nonetheless valued the role technology plays in business. In 1996, he appointed CIO Reiner to head up the company's Six Sigma quality program, reasoning that technology could be used to streamline and automate processes. He now teaches a leadership course at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Lawrence Bossidy
Retired Chairman, Honeywell
Bossidy excited Welch about the potential benefits of Six Sigma. Welch invited Bossidy to attend GE's corporate executive council meeting in June 1995, where he shared the benefits that AlliedSignal (which merged with Honeywell in 1999) had achieved with it. If GE could achieve similar gains, Bossidy estimated that cost savings could be as great as $10 billion.

V.N. (Tiger) Tyagarajan
EVP, Genpact
In 1997, GE created a large call-center workforce in India called GE Capital International Services (GECIS), which became the company's captive outsourcing unit. In late 2004, GE sold off a 60% stake in GECIS to two investment groups; it was renamed Genpact. A former CEO of GECIS, Tyagarajan was tapped by the company to head up its sales and marketing efforts as it seeks to expand its business beyond GE.


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