Technology giant GE has named its second head of investor relations in just six months, as former analyst Steve Winoker prepares to move into the role on January 22.
Winoker replaces Todd Ernst, who joined the Boston-headquartered firm as vice president of investor relations at the end of July 2018. According to the press statement announcing Winoker’s appointment, Ernst ‘is leaving GE to pursue opportunities outside of the company’.
Ernst succeeded Matt Cribbins, a GE veteran, who had been with the company since 1995, and who left the firm ‘as part of a planned transition process,’ according to a statement at the time.
Winoker joins GE from UBS, where he was managing director for US multi-industry and electrical equipment, and sector head for US industrials. ‘In this role, he served large global institutional investor clients and wrote more than 450 publications covering industrial companies, including GE,’ according to the company statement.
‘I have covered GE for more than 10 years and know the impact the company has on the world,’ says Winoker in the release. ‘GE makes technology that matters, and I am excited to be a part of the team that revitalizes an American icon for its employees, customers, shareholders and the world.’
Welcoming Winoker to the role is Lawrence Culp, a former president and CEO of Danaher, who was appointed chairman and CEO of GE in October last year.
‘Steve has a deep understanding of our industry, which will bring tremendous value to his interactions with the financial community and inside GE,’ Culp says. ‘His extensive experience – not only as an analyst, but also as an operator at other large industrial companies – makes him the right leader for this role. I am excited he is joining the team.’
Culp was brought in to lead the company following the announcement that GE would miss its 2018 guidance due to the ‘declining outlook’ of its GE Power business, with fellow board member Thomas Horton named lead director at the same time. Culp said then that ‘GE remains a fundamentally strong company with great businesses and tremendous talent. We will be working very hard in the coming weeks to drive superior execution, and we will move with urgency. We remain committed to strengthening the balance sheet including deleveraging.’
He added that he and Horton would be continuing a plan of board renewal. ‘We have a lot of work ahead of us to unlock the value of GE,’ he said. ‘I am excited to get to work.’
Last year the company announced a number of major changes to its strategy, including a renewed focus on aviation, power and renewable energy, as well as plans for GE Healthcare to become a stand-alone company and a move to fully separate its Baker Hughes oil and gas business. The new strategy also focuses on strengthening the balance sheet, with plans that include a $25 bn reduction in debt.
As GE works toward those goals, a key part of Winoker’s role leading the investor relations program will be in ‘communicating the vision and value of GE’s transformation with its shareholders and the financial community,’ according to the company statement.