President Barack Obama will name General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt to head a new advisory panel focused on promoting economic growth by investing in business, the White House said on Friday.

The new panel, the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, will work to find ways to encourage businesses to hire and invest in U.S. competitiveness.

Jeff Immelt's experience at GE and his understanding of the vital role the private sector plays in creating jobs and making America competitive makes him up to the challenge of leading this new Council, Obama said in a statement.

Earlier, the White House announced that former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was stepping down from his role as head of an outside panel advising the White House on economic policy. The executive order creating the panel expires on February 6.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan and Jeff Mason; Editing by Doina Chiacu)