Activist investor Nelson Peltz has been looking for greater efficiency at GE (GE - Get Report) , but for now seems ready to give GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt more time to cut $2 billion in costs and complete his transformation of the iconic company.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, has faith that Immelt will be successful.
"I think Jeff can do it," Cramer said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment, noting that industrials have been doing better than his company. "Jeff isn't happy."
Peltz has reportedly been disappointed in Immelt's performance, and in recent weeks, has been mulling a more activist approach toward the company, including nominating a new board member and forcing Immelt into early retirement. In its last quarterly earnings, GE missed performance targets for earnings growth and cost cutting.
"I think they (Trian) felt very let down," Cramer said. "That last quarter was very disappointing."
GE has struggled to achieve the same level of growth and brand respect that it achieved under Immelt's much celebrated predecessor Jack Welch in the 1990s. Over the past five years, Immelt has tried to refocus GE on its core industrial manufacturing business by shedding secondary divisions and looking for ways to reduce expenditures.
But the company's stock price has continued to languish. GE was down slightly in early Wednesday trading.
"I don't think he (Immelt) was thrilled with the targets that he was not able to get," Cramer said. "I think he wants very much to do what Trian wants. He wants to take out the big costs, too."
Immelt took over from Welch in 2001. He is reportedly looking to retire in four years when he turns 65. But Trian didn't deny a recent report that it might look to force him out early.
Trian holds a slightly less than 1% stake in GE, roughly 68 million shares.
In a letter to shareholders last month, Immelt reiterated his intent to achieve deep cuts, which Cramer described as "very aggressive."
Cramer added: "Does this make peace between Peltz and Immelt? No. What would make peace would be Immelt hitting his targets. If he doesn't hit the targets ... I don't think we've heard the last from Trian."