The stock is down 25% since he took over the leadership of GE in 2001. Specifically, security analysts want him to step down.
That's what happened to IBM head John Akers in the early 1990s. In parachuted outsider Lou Gerstner Jr. And all was well.
But ... If we study Immelt's strategies as the world economy heals post-2008 Crash, GE seems on the verge of transformation. The most important of those moves is to literally relocate the multinational out of sleepy Connecticut (with its high taxes) to techie Boston.
Immelt's vision is for GE to become a software powerhouse. Boston, although not as well known for tech as Silicon Valley and New York City, has an amazing tech infrastructure.
For GE not to miss the future, Immelt has to rebrand his persona. Otherwise no constituency, ranging from stock pickers to the media, will buy into his mission.
In Boston Magazine, Michael Damiano depicts Immelt as an earnest Midwestern WASP whose approach to a conversation is professorial.
Of course, that's not the image which sells tech. Think wild-eyed Jeff Bezos, ultra-confident Mark Zuckerberg and combative Michael Arrington.
In addition, in this era of speeded-up time the tedious tone of professorial is a total turn-off. We want that supposed expert to just spit it out.
An image shift used to be difficult. Branding, it was assumed, was forever. That was then.
Immelt, with supreme self-assertion, can simply strut in with the rebrand. Not only will constituencies accept it. The GE stock is bound to go up.
About four months ago, I ditched the WASPY executive-communications branding. The replacement was the all-business vendor. My message was: You need me to get results. Take it or leave it. If you take it, then you will pay X dollars. End of that story.
Place your sponsored content and links on Jane Genova's syndicated sites.
Inbound links range from Bloomberg to Bing to AOL.
High rankings on Google.
Complimentary Consultation email@example.com.