Steve Bolze has decided to step down from GE Power just as the company announced the merger of it power and energy distribution businesses.

In a memo, Bolze told staff that he had long-decided to depart in the event of being passed over for the role of outright chairman of GE, once Jeff Immelt stepped down. Healthcare chief, John Flannery has instead been selected for the top job.
Steve Bolze of GE Power
“Some time ago, Jeff Immelt and I agreed that when the succession process was complete, and if I were not chosen, I would retire from GE and move on,” Bolze, the 54-year-old head of GE Power, said in the note to employees Wednesday. “I cannot tell you how proud and grateful I am to have been considered.”

Bolze’s was the highest performing division in the company, with $26.8bn in sales recorded in 2016.

The new GE Power, by bringing in the distribution side, creates by far the largest unit by revenue ($41.9bn).

Bolze will step aside on July 3rd for GE Energy Connections chief Russell Stokes, a 20-year GE veteran who will lead the combined business under the name GE Power. Stokes is 45.

Stokes has led the energy connections business the last 18 months and previously ran the locomotives unit. He “brings a strong combination of operational, industrial and energy experience to this role, and can now scale his leadership skills,” Immelt said in the statement.