In mid-July, New England Council member General Electric (GE) named long-time company executive Mike Barber as its new chief diversity officer, at a time when many large Boston businesses are attempting to fill that position or adjacent roles. Barber previously served as President and CEO of GE’s molecular imaging and computer tomography business. Barber has been with GE for nearly three decades, with most of his time spent in GE’s healthcare division.
In a note to employees last month, GE CEO Larry Culp prioritized naming a chief diversity officer in tandem with GE’s diversity and inclusion efforts. The outcry against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota has led GE to reflect on its role in reducing racial inequality. Many companies, including NEC members Iron Mountain and Ropes and Gray LLP, have taken similar steps, posting diversity-related executive positions. Barber is currently based in Milwaukee, WI, and expects to remain there rather than move to the Boston headquarters. He is also part of Culp’s senior leadership team.
Culp has pledged to appoint a chief diversity officer for each of GE’s business units and to hold quarterly meetings with the officers and other senior leadership. Culp said in a note to employees, “You can expect these meetings to have the same rigor as our operating reviews where we get to the root cause on problems and embrace the ‘red’ in order to improve.”
The New England Council congratulates Mike Barber on his new position and commends General Electric on their efforts to promote positive change. Read more in the Boston Business Journal.
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