Flannery is also reportedly expected to scale back GE's corporate structure and shut down research centers in Shanghai, Munich and Rio de Janeiro, shifting some engineering work into individual business units, the Journal reports.
The company announced plans earlier this year to reduce costs by $2 billion, including through job cuts, by the end of 2018, a spokeswoman told CNBC.
Last year, GE spent more than $5 billion on research and development, according to the newspaper. The facility closures will leave the company with just two global research sites.
"The company will continue to have an intense focus on our global operations and customer base," a GE spokeswoman told the Journal, adding that 70 percent of the company's revenue comes from outside the U.S.
Since taking over as CEO in August, Flannery has already halted the use of corporate jets.
The company has come under pressure this year as its stock price has fallen nearly 27 percent. GE is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings on Friday.