BOSTON — General Electric’s new CEO has taken the helm.

John Flannery officially started his new job Tuesday, succeeding Jeffrey Immelt, who served in the role for 16 years.

The 61-year-old Immelt will stay on as chairman until the end of the year when the 55-year-old Flannery, who had been president of GE’s health care unit, will also assume that role.

In a letter to employees, Flannery said investors are concerned the company is underperforming and demand improvement on “cash flow, margins and cutting costs.”

Immelt, in a separate missive, praised Flannery and advised employees to keep dreaming big.

Flannery takes over a conglomerate trying to reinvent itself and restore its sagging stock price. The company, which traces its roots to 1878 and inventor Thomas Edison, recently moved from Connecticut to Boston.

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