June 5, 2019 / 7:50 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-GE gets more 'candor' by ending 'flyby' meetings with units -CFO

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By Alwyn Scott

NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) - General Electric Co is getting more "candor" from managers of its businesses by spending days - rather than hours as it previously did - on review meetings with each unit, Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller said on Wednesday.

The longer reviews, which are held quarterly, are among the cultural changes under GE Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp, Miller said at a conference organized by Deutsche Bank. Culp took over the CEO job in October.

"You can't have the flyby where you're not talking about the real issues, right, because you're staring at the facts," Miller said. "You start to think about what allows candor to come to the surface."

Culp recently discussed other cultural changes at GE, such as ending "skirmishes" in its businesses and moving faster on much needed efficiency improvements.

The corporate culture is "still shifting" under Culp, Miller said, noting that such change "takes time."

Miller said GE may keep its healthcare diagnostics and imaging businesses after the planned sale of the biopharma unit. GE previously said it would exit all businesses except power, aviation and renewable energy.

GE still expects negative cash flow of up to $2 billion in 2019, despite a relatively strong first quarter, Miller said. She also noted that GE's power services business is producing positive cash flow, but did not elaborate.

GE posted a net loss of $22.8 billion last year, with positive cash flow.

GE shares were down 1.6% at $9.84 in late afternoon trading. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott Editing by Paul Simao)

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