Electrifying Career

16 Oct 2015

GE Europe appoints UQ alumnus as President and CEO.

Mark Hutchinson (Bachelor of Commerce, ’86) has been appointed to the role of President and CEO of General Electric’s European region, a division of the company that generates more than $25 billion in annual revenue.

In his new role, Hutchinson will manage more than $15 billion worth of exports and lead more than 94,000 people employed in over 900 locations across industries including energy management, oil and gas, healthcare, and aviation.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC congratulated Hutchinson on his appointment to such a significant position.

“Mark is a globally influential corporate executive who is testament to what can be achieved with a testamur from UQ,” Professor Høj said.

“His selection for such a strategic position in Europe reflects his commercial talents and his tenacity and personal drive.

“We are proud to have someone with Mark’s business acumen as a UQ alumnus succeeding in the global business arena and we follow his career with great interest.

“Mark is one of many outstanding members of our 225,000-plus alumni network who are creating change in the world.”

Hutchinson will also retain his current position as Integration Leader for the Alstom transaction for a number of months, until the acquisition is finalised.

The integration project is GE’s largest-ever industrial acquisition, merging $17 billion worth of energy assets previously owned by French power generation and transmission company, Alstom.

In his new role – and while still juggling his existing role – it’s expected that time management skills would be essential, however Hutchinson believes understanding your work environment is even more important.

“The real skill is cultural adaptivity,” he said.

“This is about understanding how business operates in Japan compared to China, Europe or the US, how team dynamics work, and how decisions are made.”

Hutchinson was previously President and CEO of GE China, leading a team of more than 18,000 people employed in manufacturing, sourcing, and sales roles. GE China experienced double-digit growth, year-on-year under his management.

“When I started in the role in 2011, we recorded about $4.5 billion in sales. In 2014 we were at $9 billion, and that will double again in the next three years,” he said. 

“China is the kind of place you can do that.” 

John Rice, GE’s Vice Chairman and President, and CEO of GE’s Global Growth Organisation, praised Hutchinson for his leadership nous and entrepreneurial abilities.

“He has made a career of building business teams and orchestrating development projects around the world.

“Mark combines a broad background as a global business leader with deep local knowledge earned on the ground in key markets where he has served,” said Rice.

Hutchinson, who remains fond of his time studying commerce at UQ, said his degree taught him important skills he still uses today.

“University study teaches you about researching: how to take a lot of data and decide what is relevant, and then how to use the data to make a decision,” he said. 

“The best leaders are able to take a lot of data and, by using their intuition, trust their gut in making a decision. 

“That is the real skill.” 

Hutchinson received an Honorary Doctorate of Business from UQ in 2014. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce at UQ in 1986.