GE Names Top M&A Exec as Health Care Head

General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) on Monday named its top deal-making executive as head of its healthcare business, saying that the unit's prior chief is leaving the company.

The shakeup atop one of the company's largest businesses is the latest high-level management change at GE, as Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt seeks increasingly to reshape the U.S. conglomerate around industrial manufacturing and simplify the sprawling company's operations.

John Flannery, 53, was appointed president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare, effective immediately. The company posted $18 billion in revenue last year for the healthcare segment, making it GE's third-largest industrial business.

With 27 years at GE, Flannery most recently was GE's senior vice president of business development, which recently included a key role in the $16.9 billion purchase of the power assets of France's Alstom <ALSO.PA>. Previously, Flannery served as president and CEO of GE India and a senior leader at GE Capital.

Immelt said in a statement that Flannery has a "deep understanding of GE’s industrial businesses and strategy."

GE's business development team will report to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein while the company looks for Flannery's replacement, a spokesman said.

Flannery replaces John Dineen, 51, a 28-year company veteran who had led the healthcare business for seven years. GE said Dineen decided to look at leadership opportunities outside the company.

GE's healthcare unit is one of the world's largest manufacturers of medical imaging equipment, such as MRI machines, and also sells life sciences tools and healthcare IT products.

The unit's performance has been somewhat tepid recently, with revenue and profit each down slightly in the first half of the year, hurt by weakness in the United States.

In the statement, Immelt said healthcare remained a "a core part of the GE portfolio" and that the company is "poised to benefit as healthcare spending continues to grow around the world."

Since June of last year, GE has named a new finance chief as well as changed leaders for its GE Capital, oil & gas, energy management and transportation business segments.