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General Electric is in the midst of a transformation. The manufacturing giant will have a new CFO as it continues to separate into three public companies.
GE announced on Thursday that Carolina Dybeck Happe, CFO at GE, will step down from her current role in September. Dybeck Happe is expected to remain an SVP at GE for a period of time to assist with the transition. “This is a time of tremendous momentum and accomplishment for GE,” she said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday. “It is a privilege to work alongside this extraordinary finance team.”
Rahul Ghai will succeed Dybeck Happe, taking on the role of SVP and CFO. “This is the right time to make this change as GE progresses toward launching GE Vernova and GE Aerospace as standalone businesses,” GE CEO Larry Culp said in a statement.
GE’s first spinoff was GE HealthCare (Nasdaq: GEHC), which produces medical imaging equipment and tech devices. The company went public on Jan. 4. The next separation, GE Vernova, which houses the energy portfolio, has a spinoff planned for early 2024. That will leave GE Aerospace to continue as the entity that had been GE.
Ghai has been the CFO of GE Aerospace since August 2022. So, from Sept. 1 until the GE Vernova spinoff occurs, he will continue to perform his current role while also serving as CFO of GE. After the spinoff, GE will become known as GE Aerospace, focused on aviation, and Ghai will remain the CFO, and Culp will be the CEO of GE Aerospace.
Before GE, Ghai served in leadership roles including EVP and CFO at Otis Worldwide Corporation and SVP and CFO of Harris Corporation.
During the past few years, Dybeck Happe “played a crucial role in helping to significantly reduce GE’s debt, improve our financial and operating performance, and build the strategy and execution of our spinoffs plan,” Culp said. She joined GE in 2020 from Maersk where she served as CFO. Before Maersk, she spent 16 years at Assa Abloy, including seven years as CFO.
GE reported its Q1 2023 earnings in April. Revenue came in above expectations at $14.49 billion versus the estimate of $13.36 billion. “We reported our first positive free cash flow in the first quarter in nearly a decade,” Culp said in the earnings statement. GE Aerospace, the strongest segment, saw revenue rise 25% from a year earlier to $6.98 billion.
The CFO transition “we think most likely represents a ‘normal course’ transition as the company approaches its planned separation of GE Vernova,” Citi analysts wrote in a note on Thursday. “We view Mr. Ghai as a good fit for the role.” And with Dybeck Happe expected to stay on for a period, “we surmise that the transition reflects an orderly succession process,” they wrote. GE’s stock price closed on Thursday at $104.1, up about 0.54%.
GE and Dybeck Happe agreed that she will remain “eligible for the severance benefits under her existing employment agreement and applicable equity award agreements if she resigns for ‘good reason’ on or before Feb. 14, 2024, as a result of the CFO transition,” according to the company’s SEC filings.
“Under Larry’s leadership, we’ve worked to transform one of the world’s most iconic companies,” Dybeck Happe said on LinkedIn. “My focus over the coming months will be to set our remaining businesses up for success as they launch as independent companies,” she said.
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This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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