Steven Senne / AP

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, who replaced Jack Welch in 2001 and steered GE through the financial crisis, is stepping down. He'll be replaced as CEO on August 1, and will retire as chairman of the board at the end of the year.

His replacement: John Flannery, who runs GE healthcare.

The backstory, from Axios' Dan Primack: Consider this one a win for activist investor Nelson Peltz, with whom Immelt has been feuding for months. There even had been some March reports that the Peltz pressure could cause Immelt to retire early, although the longtime CEO seemed to counter such suggestions recently by shelling out $2.8 million for new GE shares after the stock tumbled on an analyst report.

On the other hand: GE is pushing back against the Peltz narrative, saying that its board set a summer 2017 as the time for a CEO succession all the way back in 2013.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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