UniCredit's Annunziata Hired as GE's Chief Economist to Aid Foreign Growth

Marco Annunziata will become General Electric Co.’s chief economist next month after leaving the same job at UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest bank.

“Marco’s distinguished background and extensive knowledge will provide GE with world-class leadership in macro-economic and geo-political trend analysis,” the company, which also appointed Annunziata as executive director, said in a statement today. “Marco is a respected, global leader and we are delighted he is joining GE.”

GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt is bolstering the Fairfield Connecticut-based company’s management structure overseas as growth from international and emerging markets outpaces that in the U.S. and developed economies. Last month, GE named Vice Chairman John Rice to oversee an new international business structure. About 54 percent of sales came from outside the U.S. in 2009, up from 45 percent in 2005 as the U.S. grappled with the worst recession since the 1930s.

Annunziata, 45, who joined UniCredit from Deutsche Bank AG in 2003 and previously worked for the International Monetary Fund, oversaw economics, fixed-income and foreign-exchange research in the London office of the Italian lender. At GE, he’ll report to Beth Comstock, the chief marketing officer.

GE is the world’s biggest maker of power-generation equipment, jet engines, locomotives, medical-imaging machines and related information-technology services. Other divisions include aircraft leasing, lending to small and middle-market companies, credit cards, real estate, lighting, water treatment and appliances.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net; Rachel Layne in Boston at rlayne@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net; Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

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