Beth Comstock, former corporate communications chief who rose to become the first female vice chairman slot under Jeff Immelt, is leaving the firm at the end of the year as new CEO John Flannery puts his own stamp on the company.

Beth ComstockBeth Comstock

"Beth's passion for innovation has opened new markets for GE and changed the way we work," CEO John Flannery said. "We have relied on Beth to see around corners and lead us to new ideas and invention.

"Her efforts to push GE into the future have been essential to GE’s growth strategy; including identifying the potential of the Industrial Internet and helping transform GE into a digital industrial company.”

Elected to the vice chair slot in 2015, 57-year-old Comstock leads the business innovations unit, which includes the lighting operation, ventures & licensing, sales, marketing and communications.

Earlier, she was senior VP/president integrated media at NBCUniversal, chief marketing officer at GE and/ senior VP-corporate communications at NBC.