GE’s Browning Exits Turbine Unit to Lead Irving

Paul Browning, the president of General Electric Co.’s gas- and steam-powered electrical turbine business, is leaving to become chief executive officer of closely held Irving Oil Corp. in Canada.

Browning, 45, is being replaced by Vic Abate, who had run GE’s renewable energy division, according to Jim Healy, a spokesman for the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company. He had led the so-called thermal products unit, part of GE’s $28.3 billion power and water arm, since May 2010.

Irving Oil CEO Mike Ashar, 58, is retiring on April 12 from the family-owned company, which is based in Saint John, New Brunswick. Browning will start April 22, Ashar said in a telephone interview. Ashar said he will step down from Irving’s board as he leaves the company.

An Irving Oil refinery in Saint John is Canada’s largest, with daily output exceeding 300,000 barrels of refined product a day, more than half of which is exported to the U.S. Northeast, according to the company’s website.

(Corrects third paragraph in story published April 2 to show Ashar leaving Irving board.)
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