Deirdre Latour, VP and CCO, GE: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 9

GE has navigated its fair share of geopolitical volatility and transformational change. We have rotated our portfolio, globalized our franchise, created world-changing technology, and simplified our culture.

We are a big company, well respected, and a big target. GE is at the forefront of digital and industrial innovation. While the ideas and execution are hard, telling the "story of change" may be even harder. That is why I love working with Deirdre.

A good communicator is invaluable to a CEO. They must be a strategist, a coach, and a street fighter — in equal measure. They must explain complex topics in simple words, and sometimes make messy situations look poetic. A good one is smart, tough, and fun.

Last year, a deal to merge GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes was announced. It was an incredibly complex deal, done on a tight time frame. It leaked 48 hours before the announcement. I could feel a sense of panic among the team. Deirdre jumped to the front. She called the shots, controlled the narrative, and landed the message. Communicators keep their cool and focus.

I enjoy working with Deirdre. I have always had a great appreciation for someone who could punch me in the nose and still make me laugh. She is the best.

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