General Electric Co. said Gary Wendt, chairman and chief executive officer of its GE Capital Services unit resigned, effective Tuesday.
Dennis D. Dammerman, 53, General Electric's (GE) chief financial officer for the past 14 years, was named as his replacement.
GE Capital, General Electric's financial services arm, is one of the largest financial services companies in the U.S. The changes are part of a succession plan to put the next generation of management in place, the company said.Shares of General Electric fell 1 7/16 to 89 3/8 in recent trading.
Wendt, 56, "has indicated for some time that he wants to pursue other opportunities," said Bruce Bunch, a GE spokesman. Wendt "will be available to help with the management transition until the middle of 1999," Bunch said.
Wendt, 56, joined GE in 1975. He was named president and chief executive officer of GE Capital in 1986.
Dammerman, who joined GE in 1967, was named chief financial officer in March, 1984. He was the youngest CFO in GE's history, the company said.
"We are excited to have Dennis Dammerman join the corporate executive office, while at the same time take responsibility for GE Capital Services," said GE Chairman John F. Welch, in a statement.
"Gary Wendt's contributions to GE have been enormous. He has led the expansion of GE Capital into one of the most respected and successful financial services businesses in the world. Gary leaves GE Capital financially sound and strategically well positioned," Welch said.
But Wendt's personal life entered the spotlight last year during his divorce case. During the case, Wendt revealed his sometimes-rocky relationship with Welch, and GE sought to have some hearings in the case closed for fear that sensitive financial information might be discussed.
A judge last December ordered Wendt to pay his ex-wife, Lorna, $20 million. Wendt has since remarried.
GE also named Denis Nayden, 44, as president and chief executive officer of GE Capital Corp. Nayden had been president and chief operating officeof GE Capital, a subsidiary of GE Capital Services.
Keith Sherin, 40, will replace Dammerman as CFO.
GE Capital, a unit of General Electric, operates 29 businesses in five major categories: consumer services, equipment management, mid-market financing, specialized financing and specialty insurance.
Parent company General Electric produces aircraft engines, transportation equipment, electric appliances and operates TV network NBC, among other businesses.
Written By Stephanie O'Brien