Immelt on Oct. 6 tapped John Flannery, his senior vice president for business development, to lead the $18 billion healthcare business.
Flannery was also president and CEO of GE India and a senior leader at GE Capital, leading Barclays Capital analyst Scott Davis to ask Immelt last week why he promoted someone with relatively little experience in healthcare.
"John Dineen was a really good leader here; I think he has got good opportunities. As you saw yesterday, he has got a nice new assignment, and sometimes I just think it works for the individual and for the company," Immelt told analysts during an Oct. 17 conference call discussing GE"s 3rd-quarter results. "I love Flannery’s global experience. I thought that was outstanding. … He has more experience in healthcare than I had when I became of CEO of healthcare more than 10 years ago. So, I think he has got really a nice background and has real hands-on experience with it outside the United States."
Dineen last week was named as an operating adviser for healthcare investments at private equity shop Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
Profits for GE Healthcare rose 9.3% to $727 million on sales of $4.49 billion during the 3 months ended Sept. 30, for a 4.2% top-line gain compared with Q3 2013, the company said.
GE’s overall 3rd-quarter net income rose 10.8% to $3.54 billion, or 35¢ per share. Excluding pension costs and other items, earnings of 38¢ per share topped analysts’ average estimate by 1¢, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 1% to $36.17 billion, below the $36.79 billion analysts expected.
"Looking forward, we expect U.S. to remain volatile, but our products are performing well. Our position in China is very strong and we believe underlying healthcare demand remains strong in the long run with an aging population, increasing insurance coverage and continued government spend in healthcare," CFO Jeff Bornstein said during the earnings call.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.