Good for Jeff Immelt and the board of General Electric for re-thinking their notion that, barring unforeseen events, Immelt ought to serve as GE’s CEO for 20 years, just as Jack Welch did. The idea that longer-serving CEOs automatically create more value for shareholders has never made much sense to me. If anything, my bias is for more frequent turnover: new leadership often brings new ideas and a fresh perspective. I’m not sure what the optimal tenure is, but suspect that a change after ten or so years makes sense. Now that I think of it, the topic might be worthwhile area of study for some enterprising business school professor.What’s more, my bias toward shorter-serving CEOs is just that: a bias. Anyone who’s familiar with the job that, say, Bob Wilmers has done at M&T Bank Corp. or Don Foss has done at Credit Acceptance knows full well how profoundly valuable a great CEO can be to a company. Or look at what Dick Kovacevich achieved at Norwest-Wells Fargo over the course of his nearly 15-year run. And don’t forget Warren Buffett. But the idea that a CEO should be expected to serve for several decades is nuts. Economic environments can change a lot over that long a period, as can a company’s needs. People change, too. And in GE’s case in particular, there’s no shortage of plausible successors. (Now that I think of it, adopting a 20-year plan based on the supposedly glittering track record of Jack Welch may not, ahem, make as much sense as you think.) So,again good for Immelt and GE. They’re doing the right thing. Shareholders ought to be pleased.What do you think? Let me know!