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CEO Daily: Tuesday, June 2

How long should a CEO serve? Jeff Immelt has been running General Electric for nearly 14 years, and shows no signs of slowing down. “We’ve always been a company that believed that the size and complexity of the company favors having somebody there for a long time, so that you get to know both people inside the company and outside the company,” Immelt told my colleague Patricia Sellers during Fortune’s new social interview show, The Chat, held at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

 

 

“There’s definitely a right time to have a transition of leadership,” he said. “It’s not right now.” Immelt is in the process of selling the company’s financial business. He says he’s “one of the few CEOs in the history of the world that has done a hundred billion dollars of acquisitions, and hundred billion dollars of dispositions.” In spite of that, the company’s stock price hangs at $27 a share, below the $40 level when he took over.

 

 

In our recent survey of Fortune 500 CEOs, we asked: “Generally speaking, what is the optimal tenure for being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company?” The majority – 62% – said five to ten years. A minority – 20% – said ten to fifteen years. The rest said there is no optimal tenure.

 

 

You can watch Immelt talk about the new GE here. We’ll be publishing more excerpts from the Immelt interview today on Fortune.com. And stay tuned Thursday for the release of the new Fortune 500 list.

 

 

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

Top News

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Apple, which sells an estimated 80% to 85% of music downloads world-wide, is planning to address the growing trend of streaming music by preparing to launch a direct rival to Spotify and other similar services. This is Apple’s second big bet it can convince music lovers to pay the tech firm for their music — the first hit was the company’s iTunes Music Store. Apple reportedly is planning to charge $10 a month to stream songs, on par with Spotify’s price. WSJ (subscription required)

Ellen Pao plans appeal

The former venture capitalist who sued her former employer for gender-based discrimination — and lost — will be filing an appeal. Ellen Pao, who filed a lawsuit against investment firm Kleiner Perkins in 2012, lost the case in which it was alleged alleged she was passed up for promotions and retaliated against because of her gender. Though she lost, the case became symbol of Silicon Valley’s sometimes sexist culture and lack of diversity. Fortune

Greece offers pension reform

Greece, under pressure this week with Athens’ cash running out, has put forward some first proposals for pension reforms as debt talks with international creditors reached crunch time this week. Leaders of Germany, France and the creditors agreed to an emergency meeting, talks that implied Europe’s leaders still want to keep Greece in the euro zone. Failure to reach agreement this month could trigger a Greek default. Reuters

HSBC planning job cuts

HSBC, Europe’s biggest lender, is reportedly planning to cut thousands more jobs across the globe as the bank aims to reassure shareholders it is still focused on costs. The job cuts are expected to be announced at an investor presentation, and should range between 10,000 to 20,000. Sky News

Around the Water Cooler

How millennials get their news

Here’s a stat sure to scare media conglomerates but also catch the attention of advertising executives: a Pew Research Center study found that 61% of millennials get their political news from Facebook. That compares with just 37% who got it from TV. For older members of the “Baby Boom” generation, those figures were almost exactly reversed. The survey is the latest to point to the influence of Facebook’s news-feed algorithm. Fortune

Fortune favors the cautious

“The longer you’re in the business, the more pessimistic you get.” Those words are attributed to Irene Bergman, a 99-year-old Wall Street veteran who has enjoyed a long career by touting patience and thorough research. She’s experienced multiple business cycles, including recessions and depressions, but her caution translated into loyal clients. One big missed opportunity? “I missed Apple totally,” she said. Bloomberg

Why work-life balance is important

New York Times‘ Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote an important DealBook post that points to a critical issue the financial industry needs to address: how can banks help their employees better balance their swelling work commitments. This issue is especially concerning in the light of two recent suicides of young bankers, raising new questions about hefty 80-100 work weeks. Studies have also shown that financial service employees are at higher risk than those in many other industries. New York Times (subscription required)

Google still lacks on diversity

Search engine giant Google released an updated report about the tech firm’s workforce demographics, data that continued to highlight a big gender gap and a shortage of African-Americans and Hispanics. Google did tout some slight changes (more female leaders and technical employees), saying even small changes were notable for a company that employs almost 56,000 people worldwide. Fortune

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Fifa probe and May auto sales — 5 things to know in the week ahead. Today’s story can be found here.