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GE exec heads to the top of World Business Chicago
A longtime executive of General Electric’s finance division was named Friday as the new head of World Business Chicago, which promotes economic growth in the region.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who chairs the public-private agency’s board, said Jeff Malehorn will become its president and CEO after 28 years at GE. Malehorn, 52, will succeed Rita Athas, who is retiring after leading the agency for five years.
Malehorn joins an organization that under Emanuel has changed its focus from looking to land large-scale corporate headquarters to promoting Chicago as a site for high-growth industries, such as logistics or advancing manufacturing.
A GE officer since 2001, Malehorn has served as president and CEO of GE units for commercial finance, health care and global restructuring. He also became active on the civic front as GE Chicago’s “corporate citizenship leader.” Malehorn has lived in and run businesses in Chicago, Tokyo and Paris.
“With my domestic and global business experience, I can appreciate all that this city has to offer the business community and I am enthusiastic about increasing the value of those offerings and bringing more jobs and opportunity to the city,” Malehorn said in a prepared statement.
He was chosen after a national search by firm Russell Reynolds and is expected to start the job in June.
The Penn State University graduate is the outgoing board chairman of the Metropolitan Chicago American Heart Association. He works with the United Way as co-chairman of the Tocqueville Society.