President and CEO, GE Capital Retail Finance; CEO, GE Capital Retail Bank
Margaret Keane has spent the last two years readying GE Capital Retail Finance for the virtual worlds of its digitally active customers.
It acquired online deposit-taking capabilities when it purchased MetLife Bank's $6.4 billion deposit business this year. It also brought forth major mobile and e-commerce service expansions for the commercial consumer financing programs it services for the likes of Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Gap and JCPenney.
So far, so good: customers now generate 4 million mobile logins a month and about 10 percent of them use mobile devices exclusively for account interaction, compared with less than 5 percent in April 2012.
While building out digital tools, Keane this year also enhanced the personal touch with her employees. Last January, she began holding weekly town hall meetings live, via video streaming, to her staff of more than 8,500. Keane takes part in live Q&A's both on the monitor and during site visits she makes to GE Capital offices, where she can view firsthand some of the employee development and education programs she has initiated. One example, called Develop You, is an internal program of quarterly webcasts and events to spread awareness of career development opportunities.
The efforts appear to be succeeding, as the business recently received some of the highest ratings across the company on an internal employee opinion survey.