John Dineen '86
CEO of GE Healthcare
- By Megan Morley Thomas
Across the globe, the world’s healthcare systems are facing a near-crisis scenario. Enter John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare. As the leader of an $18 billion healthcare enterprise, Dineen and the GE team are using their unique position as the technology leaders in both medical diagnostics and biosciences to develop new medical solutions that produce better clinical outcomes at a lower cost.
“For a long time in the medical industry the goal was, for instance, inventing CT technologies that delivered even more precise images. It was like an arms race for the best image possible, and no cost was spared," said Dineen in a telephone interview from GE Healthcare headquarters in London. "Today, the goal is to provide doctors the best clinical outcome at a lower economic cost.”
Dineen graduated UVM with degrees in biology and computer science -- and he puts that knowledge to work every day in his current job. He cites the example of a new GE mobile ultrasound device as how the intersection between those two disciplines is relevant in today’s medical industry. Only by understanding how the software and biology work together can GE invent medical devices that are globally relevant. In this case, that means building a $5,000 device for remote regions while a hospital-sized ultrasound would cost upwards of $200,000.
Two years into Dineen’s GE career he was asked to take part in the company’s Corporate Audit Staff, an advanced leadership development organization which has produced all of GE’s CFOs and many CEOs. A grueling but rewarding program, it would propel Dineen to vice president and general manager of plastics at GE Advanced Materials prior to becoming president and chief executive officer of GE Transportation in 2005.
Dineen, who describes his UVM experience as a “terrific time at every level: academically, socially, and athletically (skiing and hiking)," said he felt well prepared for corporate America coming out of UVM. “I had a solid education in computer technologies, coupled with an ability to run hard, a desire to want to make a difference and really do something special. That strategy has served me well over the years.”
Dineen also developed what he refers to as a “common touch” at UVM that has benefited him throughout his career. “I didn’t have an overwhelming resume or personality but was just a person who people liked and enjoyed working with -- someone who’s often described as a regular guy. It’s definitely an advantage. Part of it is the way you grow up, but I think UVM had a significant impact on my leadership style.”