The $13.5 billion takeover is GE's biggest ever. In terms of wind, it could springboard GE into the number one position globally, and has already pushed McEntee into first place here.
In the last year, McEntee, a 16-year veteran of GE's energy divisions with a PhD in applied mathematics, has overseen the launch of innovative improvements to existing technology, such as its PowerUp software, and the spaceframe tower. GE also launched the 2.85-103 turbine for the Japanese market, the 3.2-103 aimed at the UK and Ireland, and the 2.75-120 model, with 5% more annual energy production than its 2.5-120 turbine.
During her leadership, GE has dropped from being the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer by market share in 2012 to fifth place in 2013 as a result of the contraction of the US market. But the company is expected to rise again to number four for 2014, according to Feng Zhao of FTI Consulting.
The big challenge will be to integrate Alstom into GE. Although wind is clearly not the driver behind the deal, GE will gain wind-technology intellectual property. But the deal potentially turns the company into a serious challenger for Vestas' number one spot.
McEntee, 43, is not on the integration planning team for Alstom, a full-time role. But since the purchase was clinched in June, she has visited Alstom's wind HQ in Barcelona, Spain. It is significant that McEntee led GE's highly successful integration of oil-field equipment maker Dresser when she was president and CEO of flow and process technologies at GE Oil & Gas.
Vestas CEO Anders Runevad comes a close second behind McEntee. Although both executives took the helm at around same time, McEntee has been more prominent, and has therefore made a bigger impact on the industry than the PR-shy Runevad. She was also nudged into first place by the fact that, thanks to Alstom, GE will now have an offshore presence and at least as strong a foothold in the emerging markets.
GE is part of one of the world's biggest conglomerates in a wind industry where the future for pure players is uncertain. Its purchase of Alstom's power and grids units will close in mid-2015, with plans for GE to absorb the company's onshore wind business, and create a France-based renewables joint venture for offshore.
GE turbine orders until 2015 look strong but, with GE's reliance on the US market, 2016 will be dependent on the outcome of the production tax credit subsidy.