Jay Ireland to retire from GE, Farid Fezoua to become Africa CEO

30 Jul 2018
Financial Nigeria


According to the statement by GE, Ireland plays a significant external role advocating for investment in Africa.

Incoming GE Africa CEO, Farid Fezoua

General Electric (GE), a multinational conglomerate today announced that President and CEO of GE Africa, Jay Ireland, will retire from GE on September 30, 2018, after 38 years of service. Farid Fezoua, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Africa, in addition to his role in GE Healthcare, has been named President and CEO of GE Africa. This appointment is effective October 1, 2018.

“It has been a great honour to build GE Africa” said Jay Ireland. “The past
7 years in Sub-Saharan Africa have been the most rewarding of my 38 years in GE. The opportunities across many sectors, the optimism, the energy and entrepreneurial nature of the people have all contributed to a wonderful experience. I am extremely proud of the value we have created together with our customers and partners. I want to thank all 2,600 employees in the region for their support and commitment to making GE a valued partner for the development of infrastructure in Africa.”

According to the statement by GE, Ireland plays a significant external role advocating for investment in Africa. He is the Chair of the US President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. He is also Co-Chair of the US Africa Business Centre – launched in 2015 to lead the U.S. business community’s engagement with Africa’s regional economic communities, the private sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Ireland was a member of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) special panel on accelerating the implementation of its 10-year strategy.

He is also a recipient of numerous awards including, the 2012 and 2013 Africa Investor Magazine’s ‘International Business Leader of the Year’, and in October 2017, he was awarded the ‘Princeton in Africa’ medal for his innovative leadership and dedication to high-impact investments and growth opportunities across Africa.

Ireland started his career with GE in 1980 in its Financial Management Program after three years as a US Army Officer. Over the course of his career, he has held several leadership positions in GE. He led GE Asset Management (GEAM), a global investment firm with about $120 billion in assets under management at the time.

He was, also, President of NBC Universal Television Stations and Network Operations where he had overall executive responsibility for NBC Universal's 10 television stations, the Telemundo network and its 16 Spanish language television stations. Before joining NBC in 1999, he had been the CFO of GE Plastics.

“Jay has been an inspiring leader, colleague and role model over the course of a remarkable 38 years with the Company” said Alex Dimitrief, President and CEO – GE Global. “He has had a spectacular career. Under Jay’s leadership, GE has tripled its annual revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa and established a strong bench of African executives leading the company’s businesses on the continent.”

Farid Fezoua, with a career spanning almost 28 years, has been leading GE Healthcare's business growth in Africa since 2012. He has led the development of major large-scale modernization programs with public and private sector project development and partnerships across Africa.

Farid, according to the statement, joined GE in 2003 to lead customer financing efforts for GE Healthcare’s Middle East, Africa and Turkey Region. In 2005, he was appointed Regional Executive for GE Capital Markets Corporate, leading customer and project finance for all GE businesses in the Middle East and Africa.

“GE remains firmly committed to Africa. Farid’s excellent track record of leading GE Healthcare across Africa makes him the right choice to lead the next phase of GE’s strategy and growth in the region,” said Dimitrief, President and CEO of GE Global.

Prior to joining GE, Farid held several senior positions in international banks. He started his career at BCEN-Eurobank, Paris (subsidiary of the Russian foreign trade Bank). He then went on to serve as Deputy Head of Commodity and Trade Finance at B.A.I.I. (Banque Arabe et Internationale d'Investissement, a subsidiary of BNP specialized in trade and investment in the MENA region). He was also the Assistant General Manager and Head of Correspondent Banking and Trade Finance at the Arab Banking Corporation, Paris Branch.

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