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Delivering the closing speech at the Electrical Products Group conference in Florida — one of the big events of the year for US manufacturers — John Flannery spelt out his philosophy for turning round General Electric. Since taking over as chief executive last August, as the company faced a host of problems including downturns in key markets and lingering liabilities from its financial services operations, he had taken a “deliberate and methodical” approach to change, he told the attendees. “Being deliberate and then moving when things make sense, as opposed to moving just because somebody wants to, is just my style,” he said. That would not endear him to everyone, he acknowledged, but he was confident he was doing the right thing. Investors wanting “super-short-term decisions” were “maybe not my target audience”. The…

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