Larry Culp brings more than a decade of remarkable success as the CEO of Danaher to his new role at General Electric, giving investors new hope for the embattled industrial conglomerate.

Danaher now holds its place as one of the world’s largest science and technology conglomerates, after Culp more than quintupled the company’s market value and revenues while CEO.

“Investors will view the change favorably given Culp’s successful CEO tenure at Danaher, his GE ‘outsider’ status, and the fact that Culp doesn’t ‘need’ the position, having already completed a lucrative & reputable career,” Cowen analyst Gautam Khanna said in a note.

He comes to GE at a desperate time. Ousted CEO John Flannery was promising shareholders he would trim GE down to three core businesses but the company was not turning around as quickly as its board of directors had hoped. In a surprise move announced Monday, Culp will replace John Flannery as GE CEO. Shares of downtrodden GE reacted positively to the announcement, rising more than 8 percent in trading.

“Culp has a great record. He was fantastic at Danaher. So I think the company is in better hands,” said Jim Cramer, host of “Mad Money.”

Culp was named to the GE board in April. The GE board had been having “some back channel conversations over the last several weeks about whether he would want and whether he would take” the CEO job, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Cramer also said that major GE shareholder and activist investor Nelson Peltz said the CEO change was a “super” move. As of June 30, Peltz’s firm Trian Fund Management holds about 70.8 million shares of GE.

When Culp came in as Danaher’s president and CEO in 2000, the company was an industrial manufacturer worth about $9.7 billion. The company’s market capitalization grew to $50 billion under the 14 years of Culp’s leadership.

He became known for his shrewd eye for acquisitions, deploying about $25 billion in capital as as he steadily expanded Danaher into healthcare and environmental businesses. In 2014, Harvard Business Review named Culp as one of the top 50 CEOs in the world.

Source: FactSet

Culp also grew Danaher revenues steadily, with the peak of the financial crisis in 2009 marking its only negative year of sales growth while he was in charge.

He is telling GE staff that “everything is on the table” to try to revive the fallen industrial giant, according to Cramer.

Flannery had been selling off $20 billion worth of GE assets in a push to make the company leaner but his promised turnaround plan had yet to bear fruit. Cramer said he felt bad for Flannery, as “he was trying to deal with the hand that Jeff Immelt left him.” Immelt’s time leading the company was reportedly criticized by over a dozen insiders for unrealistic financial goals, poorly timed acquisitions and even mismanagement of the company’s cash.

“The hand was too hard,” Cramer said.

“When John Flannery was appointed CEO in August 2017, he faced a company in a very difficult balance sheet position, and I am grateful for his efforts in outlining a new direction for GE. Larry Culp had a great run at Danaher, where he transformed the company over some 14 years of sustained success. I wish him, and all of GE’s dedicated people, all the best,” former GE CEO Jack Welch said in a statement to CNBC.

Culp, 55, also teaches at Harvard Business School.

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The planned spin off of General Electric‘s health unit — GE Healthcare — could be in jeopardy after news that John Flannery was removed as chairman and CEO of the industrial conglomerate, according to one industry analyst.

Jim Corridore, a research equity analyst at CFRA, said Monday that GE’s incoming leader, former Danaher CEO Lawrence Culp, could decide that the multibillion-dollar health division would be better off staying within the company.

GE Healthcare, a dominant player in hospital and lab equipment, is a bit of a cash cow, generating roughly $19 billion in revenue and throwing off $3.4 billion in profit last year. It accounted for 15.8 percent of the conglomerate’s total sales, and 43.2 percent of its operating profit in 2017.

“Maybe health care is not going to get spun off now,” Corridore said in an interview with CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” “Maybe some of the parts that were going to be sold make more sense today.”

GE Healthcare spokeswoman Jennifer Fox said the unit “plans to continue working toward separation of GE” and news of Flannery’s removal “does not change what’s happening at GE Healthcare.”

Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of Melius Research in New York, told CNBC that he also doesn’t think Flannery’s exit changes anything for GE Healthcare. “But I suppose anything is possible,” he added.

GE shares were soaring more than 7 percent early afternoon Monday after news that the board removed Flannery from his position.

According to a source familiar with the matter, Flannery’s removal was driven by the board’s frustration with the slow pace of change under his leadership — not troubles at the power business.

Flannery tasked GE Healthcare CEO Kieran Murphy with spinning out the unit into a separate, independent company by the end of 2019. The move made sense for GE, allowing it to double down on its core industrial and energy businesses.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Flannery said he was excited, but did seem all that worried about the spin off, calling it “a huge challenge and a great opportunity.”

Watch: It’s a shame GE didn’t pick the right guy 13 months ago, says Yale’s Sonnenfeld

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Couric on the 'male hierarchy' of TV news

Couric on the ‘male hierarchy’ of TV news

In her most pointed comments to date about allegations of harassment at CBS, Katie Couric said the reports about the network’s toxic, male-centric culture ring true.

CEO Leslie Moonves and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager left the company this month after an investigation into claims of misconduct turned up numerous examples. Both men have denied allegations against them.

“The culture I found at ’60 Minutes’ personally was very challenging and at times quite offensive,” she told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. “I think obsequious and subservience was a job requirement in order to thrive there for many women in particular.”

“Sucking up to the boss?” Stelter asked.

“Pretty much, yeah,” said Couric, who worked at CBS between 2006 to 2011 as a news anchor and a contributor to “60 minutes”.

Couric also worked with Matt Lauer for years as a co-host on NBC’s “Today.” Lauer was fired by NBC last year over alleged sexual harassment. Lauer denied engaging in “coercive, aggressive or abusive actions,” though he said he “fully acknowledged” he at times “acted inappropriately.”

Couric said Sunday that Lauer was a “terrific professional partner with me for many years” and she was “unaware of any kind of this behavior, predatory behavior.”

“It was obviously very shocking and disturbing to me and a lot of his colleagues,” Couric said.

She said these highly publicized examples point to a larger problem in newsrooms, most of which are run by men.

“I think that obviously the male hierarchy has been in place [at CBS] for years, and it’s time for that to end. But they’re not the only network that has a male hierarchy,” she said. “If you look at the news presidents at every major broadcast and cable network, they’re all male.”

Shortly after the interview, Couric noted to Stelter that Fox News does have a female boss, Suzanne Scott, who became CEO earlier this year. Jay Wallace is the president of Fox News.

On air, Couric continued: “All three evening news anchors are male. The vast majority of executive producers at every network are male. And this really has to end.”

Couric added that “implicit bias” needs to be “understood better in media circles.” She described the term as “cultural conditioning that causes us to look at people a certain way.”

Couric said she has been guilty of it herself. During the presidential election 10 years ago, she said she questioned aloud whether Sarah Palin, then-Governor of Alaska and John McCain’s running mate, could handle being vice president with five children.

“I would never ask that question about a male candidate,” she said. “I think we have so much work to do.”

Couric said movements like #MeToo should help guide newsrooms toward better parity.

“If we really believe that the tone at the top is paramount, then you have to have more diverse voices at the top because they have such an impact on the editorial choices that are made, who covers stories and how they’re covered,” Couric said.

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Accenture CEO: Diversity is critical

Accenture CEO: Diversity is critical

Companies headquartered in California can no longer have all-male boards.

That’s according to a new law, enacted Sunday, which requires publicly traded firms in the state to place at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019 — or face a penalty.

It also requires companies with five directors to add two women by the end of 2021, and companies with six or more directors to add at least three more women by the end of the same year.

It’s the first such law on the books in the United States, though similar measures are common in European countries.

The measure was passed by California’s state legislature last month. And it was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday, along with a trove of other bills that look to “protect and support women, children and working families,” the governor’s office said in a release.

A majority of companies in the S&P 500 have at least one woman on their boards, but only about a quarter have more than two, according to a study from PwC.

California state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson told The Wall Street Journal last month when the legislation passed that “one-fourth of California’s publicly traded companies still do not have a single woman on their board, despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive.”

“With women comprising over half the population and making over 70% of purchasing decisions, their insight is critical to discussions and decisions that affect corporate culture, actions and profitability,” she told the outlet.

Some see California’s law as a crucial step toward establishing better parity in corporate leadership.

But setting quotas can be controversial, Vicki W. Kramer, lead author of the landmark 2006 study, “Critical Mass on Corporate Boards,” told CNN last month. Opponents argue that pressure from quotas will lead to unqualified female members and potential discrimination against male candidates.

When quotas are not set, however, companies may fail to diversify their ranks. She points to more “aspirational” legislation in other states, like in Pennsylvania, where a 2017 resolution urged both public and private companies to have a minimum of 30% women on their boards by 2020. But without teeth in the law, Kramer said, better numbers won’t follow.

Kramer said California’s legislation is weak compared to the laws in Norway and other European countries, which require a certain percentage of women on boards. For larger Norwegian companies, the legislation requires that women make up as much as 40% of the board.

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This city is giving out free cash to curb poverty

This city is giving out free cash to curb poverty

California will soon have the country’s strictest net neutrality protections, thanks to a bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday. The law could serve as a blueprint for other states, set California up for a clash with the federal government — and possibly draw a lawsuit from major internet providers.

The bill was approved by lawmakers in early September, but it had been unclear if Brown would veto or approve the comprehensive measure, even though it had broad support from state Democrats.

Under the law, internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow specific types of content or applications, or charge apps or companies fees for faster access to customers.

California is the third state to pass its own net neutrality regulations, following Washington and Oregon. However, it is the first to match the thorough level of protections that had been provided by the Obama-era federal net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in June. At least some other states are expected to model future net neutrality laws on California’s.

The original FCC rules included a two page summary and more than 300 additional pages with additional protections and clarifications on how they worked. While other states mostly replicated the two-page summary, California took longer crafting its law in order to match the details in the hundreds of supporting pages, said Barbara van Schewick, a professor at Stanford Law School.

“Most people don’t understand how hard it is to do a solid net neutrality law,” said Schewick. “What’s so special about California is that it includes not just two pages of rules, but all of the important protections from the text of the order and as a result closes the loopholes.”

Loopholes addressed in California’s new law include a prohibition on “zero rating,” which allows carriers to exempt content from certain companies (like their own streaming services) from counting against a customer’s data usage. The prohibition would not apply if a carrier wanted to exempt an entire category of content, like all streaming services. It also bans interconnection fees, which are charges a company pays when its data enters the internet provider’s network.

As the largest economy in the United States and the fifth largest economy in the world, California has significant influence over how other states regulate businesses and even federal laws and regulations. That power is being tested under the Trump administration, which is currently battling the state in court over multiple issues, including emissions standards, immigration laws and the sale of federal lands.

“It’s critically important for states to step in,” state senator Scott Wiener, who co-authored the bill, told CNNMoney. “What California does definitely impacts the national conversation. I do believe that this bill … will move us in a positive direction nationally on net neutrality.”

For that to happen, the law will likely have to survive a legal battle. Major broadband companies, including AT&T and Comcast, have lobbied heavily against the California bill. (AT&T is the parent company of CNN.) They say the new rules will result in higher prices for consumers.

“The broadband providers say they don’t want state laws, they want federal laws,” said Gigi Sohn, a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology and a former lawyer at the FCC, in an interview. “But they were the driving force behind the federal rules being repealed … The federal solution they want is nothing, or extremely weak.”

ISPs may sue California over the bill. The FCC could also fight California over a pre-exemption clause included in its 2017 order repealing net neutrality protections. The FCC holds that it can preempt state-level laws because broadband service crosses state lines. Legal experts are split over whether or not the FCC can challenge a state net neutrality law, but Wiener believes the clause is unenforceable.

“We don’t think the FCC has the power to preempt state action,” said Wiener. “We don’t know exactly what the FCC will do, but we are prepared to defend this law. We believe that California has the power to protect the internet and to protect our residents and businesses.”

The authors of the bill did have support from consumer and labor groups, grassroots activists, and small and mid-sized tech companies including Twilio, Etsy and Sonos. Larger technology companies, like Apple, Google, and Facebook, have stayed quietly on the sidelines.

Jonathan Spalter, president of USTelecom — a trade group representing broadband providers — said while the group supports “strong and enforceable net neutrality protections for every American,” the bill was “neither the way to get there nor will it help advance the promise and potential of California’s innovation DNA.”

“Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all,” Spalter said.

Sohn and van Schewick believe states with legislatures controlled by Democrats are the ones most likely to pass strong net neutrality protections. Other states have already started working on similar bills, including New York and New Mexico.

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California became the first state to require companies based within its borders to put female directors on their boards, adding to pressure on boardrooms across the country to give more women a seat at the table.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Sunday a landmark bill mandating that all publicly traded companies with headquarters in the state have at least one woman on their boards by the end of next year. By 2021, companies with at least five directors would need to have two or three female directors, depending on the size of the board, according to the new law. Those that don’t face financial penalties.

“It’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America,” Brown said in a letter to the California state Senate announcing his decision.

Though the law would immediately affect a limited number of companies, its passage puts Silicon Valley’s startups on notice to include women on their boards as part of any plans to go public. The law would also require tech giants such as Facebook Inc.

FB, -2.59%

  and Google parent Alphabet Inc.

GOOGL, -0.02%

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 —which have two female board members each — to make sure to include a third within a few years, since their boards have more than six directors. (Both companies have said they are already considering women and other candidates with underrepresented backgrounds for all new board appointments.)

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in soccer history, was accused of raping a woman in Las Vegas in 2009 and then paying her $375,000 to keep it secret, according to a civil complaint filed in Nevada district court last Thursday.

The woman, Kathryn Mayorga, 34, said in the complaint that the alleged assault nine years ago continues to cause her severe distress and that she was coerced into signing a nondisclosure agreement at the time.

Ronaldo and his lawyers, “knowing that the plaintiff was a ‘vulnerable person’… repeatedly threatened to falsely and publicly accuse the plaintiff of consenting to sexual intercourse with the defendant in order to accuse the defendant of sexual assault to obtain money,” according to the complaint filed in Clark County, Nev. The complaint seeks damages and penalties in excess of $200,000.

News of the suit was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel. Ronaldo, who joined Italian club Juventus this season in a $117 million deal, denied any wrongdoing, and a lawyer for Ronaldo in Germany called Der Spiegel’s report “blatantly illegal.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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WASHINGTON — A political cease-fire achieved by a further FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanaugh evaporated over the weekend, as the White House fended off accusations it had placed overly restrictive limitations on the probe of its Supreme Court nominee.

The one-week-at-most inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, brokered as a last-minute deal Friday between Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was intended to satisfy concerns that allegations against Kavanaugh weren’t being fully vetted before the full Senate took up his nomination. But early signs that the FBI probe would be on a short leash inflamed Democratic criticism that President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans weren’t out to explore fully the allegations, while the White House, Senate and FBI all appeared to shift responsibility for the scope of the probe elsewhere.

“The FBI’s hands must not be tied in this investigation,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, wrote on Twitter. Later Sunday, Feinstein asked White House counsel Don McGahn and the director of the FBI to release a copy of the directive sent by the White House to the bureau outlining the scope of the investigation.

The contours of the FBI investigation weren’t clear and appeared at times to shift, as Trump and senior administration officials pushed back against reports that the White House directed who would be interviewed as part of a reopening of Kavanaugh’s background investigation. Administration officials said they were taking cues from the Senate. Leading the process for the West Wing is McGahn, who helped prepare Kavanaugh for the questions he would face in Judiciary Committee hearings. The lack of clarity extended to what investigators could ask witnesses, such as whether they would examine the accuracy of Kavanaugh’s testimony last week on his drinking habits as a teen.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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It was a sunny Saturday evening in the English countryside in June 2017 when Kieran Murphy noticed two missed calls from his boss John Flannery.

When the two General Electric executives finally connected on the third try around 7 p.m., Flannery said Murphy needed to be on a plane the next morning. Flannery was replacing GE’s long-time CEO Jeff Immelt and needed Murphy to take over as CEO of GE Healthcare right away.

“What should have been a long discussion with my wife had to be cut short. I spent the rest of the evening organizing for a trip to the U.S. the following morning where we prepared for the handover and the announcement,” Murphy told CNBC in a phone interview from his farm in Cambridgeshire, a county in eastern England where the couple has horses and grows what he describes as “modest” crops of wheat and barley.

Murphy, 55, is probably one of the fastest rising stars at GE that you’ve never heard of. He’s quickly climbed the ranks at its healthcare unit. Under his tenure, GE Healthcare has expanded outside its staid business of making MRI, X-ray and ultrasound machines and into new fields like information technology, gene therapy and bioengineering.

His new task is even bigger. He has to spin out GE Healthcare into a separate, independent company by the end of 2019.

The move makes sense for General Electric, allowing it to double down on its core industrial and energy businesses. But it’s not without some risk.

The healthcare equipment maker is a bit of a cash cow, throwing off $3.4 billion in profit last year. It accounted for 15.8 percent of the conglomerate’s total sales, but 43.2 percent of its operating profit in 2017. It’s also one of GE’s most consistent and least volatile performers, earning a reliable $3 billion or so a year since 2011. Its oil and gas segment, by comparison, has grappled with wild swings in growth and profitability.

GE’s been struggling with shrinking profits in recent years, and its shares have lost more than half of their value over the past 12 months to $11.29 a share Friday. It was the largest company in the U.S. in 2000 when its shares were trading at $60 apiece and it had a market value of almost $500 billion. Its market value today is about a fifth of that. One of the original components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, GE was removed from the blue-chip index in June.

To be sure, GE is still one of the world’s most recognizable brands. And the healthcare unit, which makes hospital equipment as well as lab supplies, gives up a powerful corporate parent in spinning out on its own.

Murphy said he’s is excited, but doesn’t seem all that worried, calling it “a huge challenge and a great opportunity.”

He’s been busy zigzagging across the world to prepare for the spinoff. GE Healthcare has operations in more than 140 countries, 52,000 employees and $19 billion in revenue last year. Those numbers make it large enough to get on the Fortune 500 list as a standalone company.

“His reputation within GE is that he is a good roll-up-your sleeves operator. They think he’s very talented,” said Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of Melius Research in New York.

GE Healthcare has drastically grown from its origins in 1896 when it began developing X-rays. The company has become a leader in the medical health-care field. It’s already a dominant player in hospital and lab equipment and is a growing force in medical records, health-care software and is expanding its mark on gene therapy research.

The industry is stable, but growth in developed markets is fairly stagnant, Davis said. GE Healthcare’s biggest markets are in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Murphy will have to grow through acquisition and enter more untested, less-regulated markets in underdeveloped nations to ensure its future growth and stay ahead of the company’s main competitors: Siemens, Philips and Toshiba Medical Systems, which all make medical imaging technology like GE, Davis said.

Murphy’s appointment could also mean other bigger roles, if history is any guide. Both Flannery and Immelt had his job before they were tapped to run all of GE.

Murphy said he and Flannery are “ideologically very similar.”

“John is a great believer in teams and team performance as the route to corporate performance. We get on well and speak regularly. I am a big fan of his and think that his down-to-earth style is refreshing,” Murphy said of Flannery.

Getting Flannery’s call was exciting, said Murphy, but also tremendously humbling.

“Clearly one also feels a huge sense of responsibility,” he said.

Murphy hadn’t expected to run GE Healthcare when he began his career there in 2008 with the company’s $713 million acquisition of Whatman, which specialized in laboratory filtration products and was folded into the GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences division.

Born in Cork, Ireland, Murphy maintains close ties to his Irish roots. He received his undergraduate degree in agri-science and economics from the University of Dublin and a master’s degree in marketing and business strategy from the University of Manchester. He still has the accent.

Former colleagues and current executives describe Murphy as private — eschewing the public spotlight — “refreshingly” honest, “no fluff,” tough, a little bit coarse but never cruel or unkind. GE initially turned down interview requests. Murphy declined to discuss his family or other personal matters when he finally agreed to a call.

He attributes much of his drive to his upbringing on his family farm in Cork, Ireland, saying his parents had an “immense” work ethic.

“My mother worked hard into her 80s,” he explained. “She ran a shop so she was looking after customers all the time and was always respectful to everyone she dealt with, both vendors and buyers. I inherited her desire to focus on people.

He’s also prone to swear — an attribute many say comes with his blunt nature and a no-nonsense style, according to former executives who’ve worked with him. Former colleagues and employees also describe him as fair, accessible, respectful and level-headed.

“What you see is what you get with him, which was so refreshing in a corporate culture,” said one former GE executive who worked with Murphy when he was running the Life Sciences business.

“He didn’t want a lot of pretty pictures or where we would be in 10 years or any of that stuff, which is kind of the hallmark of a very Power Point friendly gigantic organization like GE,” the person continued. “He just said ‘tell me your three main challenges, like what are the things you are worried about the most … and how can I help you solve them.'”

Murphy said he likes to “distill the key issues and the decisions that need to be made and move on.

“I like to think I’m honest and direct,” he continued. “I’m approachable and I’ll always give my opinion.”

His blunt style has won him praise at GE, where he combined the old life sciences and medical diagnostics units to create the current GE Life Sciences. He was promoted in 2011 to run the combined group before Flannery tapped him to run the entire division. Murphy’s credited with leading GE into the cell-therapy business with the acquisition of Biosafe in 2016 and was seen as having a big hand in helping to launch Vineti, a cell and gene therapy tech group.

The oncology market for the type of cell therapy Biosafe is working on is expected to reach $30 billion by 2030, the company said when the acquisition was announced. There were more than 600 gene therapy cancer treatments in clinical trials at the end of 2015, according to GE Healthcare.

A seasoned biotechnology executive, Murphy began his career at Janssen Pharmaceutical, a division of Johnson & Johnson, followed by leadership roles with Mallinckrodt, veterinary medicines provider Vericore, Novartis, Adprotech, ML Laboratories, Innovata and Whatman.

He has a track record of hiring strong people and being a hands-on manager, meeting directly with employees of all levels, no matter how junior, former colleagues say.

Paul Hitchin worked with Murphy for about 8 years in various roles at GE. He was the global head of financial planning and analysis in GE Healthcare Life Sciences when it was combining the old life sciences and medical diagnostics in 2014. Murphy oversaw the cost cutting and restructuring, which included lay offs.

“We took out a lot of heads during that period,” said Hitchin, who left GE late last year for another job. He said Murphy was pretty “open and honest” with employees in the each of the divisions and would regularly hold town halls to keep them updated.

“I look back at that and think wow, as an individual how did he do that and how did he maintain the engagement levels during a period of such change where people were losing jobs and restructuring?” Hitchin said.

For his part, Murphy says he has few regrets.

“Naturally, I’ve missed out some acquisitions for a variety of reasons that I would like to have won, but that’s business,” he said.

“There have been some deals that caused problems in the business, but I think having a clear strategy helps when it comes to integration and how one runs the businesses being integrated,” Murphy continued.

He said deals like GE’s 2012 acquisition of biomanufacturing service Xcellerex and 2014 purchase of cell culture business HyClone helped to create a great side gene therapy business called Life Sciences. The Life Sciences division is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to study the use of the controversial CRISPR gene editing system to treat disease.

Unshackled from GE, and now with his own balance sheet, Murphy will be free to pursue more deals. He was reluctant to say what he’s thinking of pursuing after the spinoff. However, he did share his vision for GE Healthcare.

“I want to change the course of disease treatment through integrated diagnostics and precision therapy and our precision health strategy has the power to improve outcomes,” Murphy said. “I love our commitment to new areas like cell and gene therapy, the next frontier of medicine.”

“My only goal is to be able to look back on my career in 10 or 15 years and think that I made a difference,” he said.

— CNBC’s Christina Farr and John W. Schoen contributed to this report.

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The roar on the track is a siren call for Porsche owners and fans.

The German luxury auto brand is holding Rennsport Reunion VI at the famed Laguna Seca Raceway outside Monterey, California. The weekend gathering of Porsche owners and enthusiasts is a chance for the faithful to revel, and in some cases race, vintage Porsche models. Think of it as Woodstock for the Porsche faithful.

“It’s great!” said Melinda Palmer, as she and her husband parked their Porsche Boxster and prepared to enjoy a day at a Porsche-palooza. “Where do you find so many beautiful cars like this except at Rennsport.”

More than 60,000 people, many who own a Porsche, are expected to spend their weekend at Laguna Seca. Events like these may be even more important as the company continues to push the brand in new directions. While the big attraction are the races featuring amateur and professional drivers, the chance to check out scores of classic and rare Porsche models may be what many people love the most about the weekend.

“You see cars you may not have seen before, new ones, ” said Jim Yoder, who drove his Porsche from Orange County up to Monterey.

The enthusiasm seen at Rennsport, doesn’t surprise Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Autotrader. She said Porsche has among the highest brand loyalty rates in the auto business, even as it has expanded the line-up to include SUVs.

“Just a few years ago when Porsche announced it would sell SUVs and everyone said, ‘you’ll ruin the brand!’, but that decision may have saved the brand,” said Krebs.

The popularity of the Cayenne and Macan models has also allowed Porsche to invest heavily developing its first all-electric car, the Taycan. It’s scheduled to roll out late next year and many are wondering if the Taycan will live up to the heritage of Porsche.

Detlev von Platen, a member of the Porsche executive board, said the Taycan will hit the mark.

“People are asking for true value, for authentic things and therefore it’s very important that we come with our heritage, with our DNA,” he said.

DNA you can feel and hear on pit row at Laguna Seca, as Porsches rev up before hitting the track.

As Bob Musclewhite sat in his Boxster, he summarized what makes Rennsport so special for Porsche fans. “It’s about people, not necessarily the car. it’s a community,” he said.

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