General Electric Investigating Spare Plane Usage

General Electric is trying to determine why Jeff Immelt its former CEO was escorted across the globe in a spare jet.

Recently GE conducted its own internal investigation into who gave the approval for the plane, said a person familiar with internal probe.

The outcome of the probe was shared with members of the board during a meeting a week ago, said the sources. GE did not comment on the internal review or the findings.

News of this probe was reported first by The Wall Street Journal. The use by GE of this spare jet angered analysts and shareholders, especially since the company is battling with a huge cash crunch that was caused in part by bad decisions made by Immelt.

The light bulbs and jet engines maker has had to lower its dividend for only the second time since the Depression. GE last week announced it would slash 12,000 jobs in its power division.

A spokesperson for GE said the company had stopped using the spare jet to transport Immelt in 2014, and its use had been limited to trips that were determined to be critical for business as well as for overseas flights that had security risks.

When GE started to use the jet is not clear, but Immelt took over as CEO in 2001.

The former CEO recently wrote to the lead director of GE explaining that he was not aware of the jet. The practice was brought to his attention and then stopped over three years ago, wrote Immelt.

An Immelt spokesperson confirmed the letter’s authenticity, which was posted by The New York Times online.

In the letter, Immelt wrote that following his appointment as CEO, he directed the company to sell jets that were too expensive to operate and have them replaced with aircraft that was more efficient. The less expensive planes were ones that Immelt used to travel across the globe.

Speaking last month during an event, Immelt acknowledged that he use of the jet had been a terrible idea as well as something he wished he had not done.

The former CEO stepped down from that position earlier in 2017. During the 16 years Immelt was the CEO, GE stock was the worst performing on the Dow. Just during 2017 alone, GE stock has lost 43% in value.

One Wall Street analyst said that the spare jet usage was unnecessary at all levels and shows a lack of judgement.

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