What’s In A Name? Meet the John Flannerys

A few years ago, I received a LinkedIn message that said “Hi John, if you are in Bhopal (India) next week, let’s meet for a drink.” It was a curious invitation, as I wasn’t anywhere near the Asian subcontinent. But then I figured it out….

John L. Flannery ran the business unit for General Electric (GE) in India from 2009.Someone mistook me for him when sending the request to meet. I had heard of John from a friend who worked for GE, but the surfacing of our shared name really became more prevalent when he was promoted to CEO of all of GE in August of 2017. Similar name, different lives.

While the core name is the same, there are differences in between the middle names/initials of the “E” and the “L”. L grew up in VA, went to Wharton, has 3 kids and enjoys the Boston Red Sox. E grew up in PA, went to San Diego State University, has 2 kids and loves the Super Bowl Champs Eagles.

On my way through the Charlotte airport recently, L was being interviewed on MSNBC, so I had the attached picture taken. There is no real resemblance between us, but I am sure we can trace some connection back to Ireland in the middle of the 19th century. For now, I have a call into L’s office to see if he wants to catch up for a drink- we shall see what happens.