Charlene Begley was the "odd woman out" when General Electric Co. announced it would sell GE Plastics to Saudi Basic Industries Corp. She was president and CEO of the Pittsfield, Mass.-based unit for almost two years. But when the deal was announced, GE said Begley would move on to a new role, and she would be replaced by Brian Gladden. Today, we learn what that "new role" will be. GE announced that Begley has been named president and CEO of GE Enterprise Solutions, "a new business that is focused on helping GE's global customers increase their productivity through superior information management and automation solutions." The unit will have annual sales of $11.5 billion. Everyone I talk to in the industry thinks Begley left the plastics business because there wouldn't be much of a future for a female executive at Sabic. That makes sense -- but if it's not true, I think Sabic should say so soon after the deal closes. GE Plastics is a global company, and regardless of the cultural norms in Saudi Arabia, it would be poor form for them to alienate thousands of female executives at plastics companies around the world.
Begley finds a role
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