Thursday, May 3
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Former Chairman, GE
Partner, New Enterprises Associates
He has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s and with good reason. As CEO of GE for 16 years, Jeff Immelt transformed GE into a simpler, stronger and more focused digital industrial company. He revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce and culture, positioning GE for the future. During his tenure, industrial earnings doubled and GE returned $143 billion in dividends, more than in the cumulative history of the company. Immelt was willing to disrupt GE reshaping the company’s portfolio during the last decade, with bold moves such as the $260 billion sale of GE Capital assets, the acquisition of platforms in Life Sciences and Renewables, adding global energy leader Alstom, the combination of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes, and the divestitures of legacy businesses like GE Appliances, NBC Universal and Plastics. He was the architect of the GE Store, leveraging GE’s unique scale to drive growth.
Under his leadership, GE re-established market leadership with technological innovation, grew a strong share position in essential industries, and built a backlog of $320 billion. Immelt led several innovative transformations during his tenure. GE is the pre-eminent global company with more than 60% of its revenue coming from outside the U.S. Under his leadership, emerging market revenue quadrupled. GE became the first Digital Industrial building a strong digital platform in GE, establishing leadership in the Industrial Internet. GE is well positioned to lead the next revolution in productivity through additive manufacturing. GE has been a leader in important growth themes, like clean energy, through its ecomagination initiative. GE remains one of the top 10 most valuable brands in the world, and has consistently been viewed as the best company for developing leaders. Since he began serving as CEO, GE has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and the Financial Times. Under the Obama administration, he chaired the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Since leaving GE, Immelt has brought his knowledge and expertise to Silicon Valley, as a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.
Managing Director, Audax Private Equity
He joined Audax Private Equity at its inception in 2000 and is one of the original senior investment professionals at the firm. In addition, Jester leads the firm’s marketing and business development efforts. His team sources more than 1,000 new investment opportunities per year.
Since its founding in 1999, Audax Private Equity has been focused on building leading middle-market companies. Audax has invested $4.5 billion in 112 platform and 645 add-on companies. Through its disciplined buy & build approach, Audax seeks to help platform companies execute add-on acquisitions that fuel revenue growth, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value. Audax Private Equity is an integral part of Audax Group, an alternative asset management firm specializing in investments in middle-market companies. With offices in Boston, New York and San Francisco, Audax Group has over $11.5 billion in assets under management across its private equity, mezzanine and senior debt businesses.
Jester also serves on the board of ACG Global. He was previously co-chair of membership for the 850 member ACG Boston Chapter, where he was one of the founders, Additionally, he was the first president of the ACG Tampa Chapter. He is also a member of YPO in New England.