Obama chooses GE's Immelt to lead panel

Jan. 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- General Electrics Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt will head the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, U.S. President Obama said Friday.

After spending two years pulling the economy "back from the brink," the task now is to put "our economy into overdrive," Obama said during a tour of GE's first plant in Schenectady, N.Y.

"[To] help fulfill this new mission, I'm assembling a new group of business leaders and outside advisers. And I am so proud and pleased that Jeff has agreed to chair this panel ... 'cause we think GE has something to teach businesses all across America."

Obama said the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness will be important "as we seek to do everything we can to spur hiring and ensure our nation can compete with anybody on the planet."

Immelt will replace former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker as leader of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness that Obama will create by executive order, the White House said. The council will be a reconstituted version of the board Volcker headed, the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which expires Feb. 6.

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