During the nearly 14 years that Jeff Immelt has been CEO of General Electric (GE), the company’s stock has declined from $40 to a current price just above $27 a share. Granted, Immelt took charge on September 7, 2001, four days before two planes powered by GE jet engines crashed into New York’s World Trade Center and the world changed. Still, that’s hardly a performance to be proud of.
Does he feel bad about that? “Oh, sure,” he said last Thursday on Fortune‘s The Chat, a new video interview show taped before an audience at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. “It’s not like people say, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, you’ve got another five years, you’ve got another three years.’ I’m paranoid everyday about where the company is.”
In fact, Immelt is the only CEO on earth to suffer such rough treatment from investors and not just keep his job but also keep his company’s reputation strong: GE, No. 4 on this year’s Fortune 500, is the world’s ninth most admired company, according to Fortune‘s latest survey of Most Admired Companies.
Check out the video clip above to see Immelt explain how he has outlasted his critics and why he believes he deserves to stay in charge at GE.