General Electric announced via press release Monday it had tapped Carolina Dybeck Happe, CFO of Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller - Maersk, to be their new finance chief.
Dybeck Happe, who will start at GE in early 2020, had been CFO at Maersk for less than a year. She succeeds GE's outgoing CFO, Jamie Miller, who had been in the job for just two years, WSJ reported.
Dybeck Happe is not the only c-suite executive to leave Maersk this month. Supply Chain Dive reported last week that Søren Toft, Maersk COO, was joining rival carrier MSC as its new CEO.
Dybeck Happe’s hiring announcement comes during a larger, company-wide revamp as GE’s accounting practices have come under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, WSJ said. GE is also considering finding a new auditor, according to WSJ, despite working with KPMG LLP for over 100 years.
As CFO, Dybeck Happe will lead GE's global finance organization and financial activities including accounting and controllership, financial planning and analysis, tax, investor relations, internal audit, and treasury, GE said in the press release. She will also lead GE’s digital technology and global operations functions and be based in the company’s Boston headquarters.
Before her stint at Maersk, Dybeck Happe worked for Swedish door lock manufacturer Assa Abloy for 16 years, seven as CFO. At Assa Abloy, she "played a key role in transforming the company from a regional player into a global, digitally enabled leader across multiple domains" and "helped the company deliver total shareholder return of more than 160 percent and double-digit sales growth, profit growth, and return on invested capital," GE wrote in the press release.
Dybeck Happe is considered a top-ranked CFO in European capital goods according to numerous leading publications and associations, and she is also an accomplished director in the energy and electrical equipment industries, serving on the boards of directors of two European electric utility giants, GE said.
In her new role, Dybeck Happe will have to manage overall costs and help reduce outsize debt amid GE’s vast restructuring. According to CEO H. Lawrence Culp, GE’s turnaround would be a several-year process.
In an effort to reduce its debt levels, GE has been selling off assets, including a pending $21 billion sale of a biotech business to Danaher Corp. At the end of the most recent quarter, GE’s net debt reached $49 billion.