GE CEO to Run Obama’s New Jobs Panel

Posted January 21, 2011 at 7:18am

President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Friday creating a new jobs panel that will be run by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

The new President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness replaces the former Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which sunsets on Feb. 6. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker led that panel.

Obama’s choice in Immelt to lead the new panel signals a shift in his approach to economic recovery: While the administration has spent the past two years focused on stabilizing the economy, the shake-up signals Obama plans to pivot to job creation.

“As we enter a new phase in our recovery, I have asked the new Council to focus its work on finding new ways to encourage the private sector to hire and invest in American competitiveness,” Obama said in a statement.

Immelt’s “understanding of the vital role the private sector plays in creating jobs and making America competitive makes him up to the challenge of leading this new Council,” he said.

The president will sign the executive order during a Friday visit to a GE branch in Schenectady, N.Y.