GE names retired executive John Rice as chairman of troubled power business

  • GE divided its ailing power division into two units: GE Gas Power and GE Power Portfolio.
  • Former executive John Rice is coming out of retirement to sere as the chairman of GE Gas Power.

General Electric named retired executive John Rice on Monday as chairman of the conglomerate's struggling gas power business.

GE said during its third quarter earnings that it would divide the power division into two units: GE Gas Power and GE Power Portfolio. Rice will serve as chairman of the former.

The company also announced on Monday that Scott Strazik, president of GE's power services business, will serve as CEO of GE Gas Power. At the same time, GE Power CEO Russell Stokes will shift to become CEO of the reorganized GE Power Portfolio. The latter unit includes GE's steam, electric grid, nuclear and power conversion businesses.

"One of my top priorities is positioning our businesses to win, starting with GE Power," GE Chairman and CEO Larry Culp said in a statement.

Rice retired at the end of 2017 after 39 years at GE. He faces a steep challenge in his return to GE, as the company's business of selling turbines to gas and coal-fired power plants has been suffering in recent years. GE also took a $22 billion noncash charge in the third-quarter related to acquisitions made in the power business.

"I look forward to working with John as he returns to GE and Scott and Russell in their new roles," Culp said.

Shares of GE fell 2.2 percent in trading Monday, closing at $7.84 a share.