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General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
and headquartered in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st most populous city in the country. The city proper covers with an estimated population of 692, ...
. , the company operates through the following segments:
aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons an ...
,
healthcare Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is deliv ...
,
power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics), meaning "rate of doing work" ** Engine power, the power put out by an engine ** Electric power *** Solar power Power may also refer to: Mathematics, science and technology Computing * IBM Power (soft ...
,
renewable energy Renewable energy is useful energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, including carbon neutral sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. The term often a ...
, digital industry,
additive manufacturing 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is the construction of a three-dimensional object from a CAD model or a digital 3D model. The term "3D printing" can refer to a variety of processes in which material is deposited, joined or solidified ...
and venture capital and finance. In 2020, GE ranked among the
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along wit ...
as the 33rd largest firm in the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
by
gross revenue In accounting, revenue is the income or increase in net assets that an entity has from its normal activities (in the case of a business, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers). Commercial revenue may also be referred to as sales ...
. In 2011, GE ranked among the Fortune 20 as the 14th-most profitable company but has since very severely underperformed the market (by about 75%) as its profitability collapsed. Two employees of GE—
Irving Langmuir Irving Langmuir (; 31 January 1881 – 16 August 1957) was an American chemist, physicist, and engineer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1932 for his work in surface chemistry. Langmuir's most famous publication is the 1919 articl ...
(1932) and
Ivar Giaever Ivar Giaever ( no, Giæver, ; born April 5, 1929) is a Norwegian-American engineer and physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson "for their discoveries regarding tunnelling phenomena in solids". Giaev ...

Ivar Giaever
(1973)—have been awarded the
Nobel Prize#REDIRECT Nobel Prize#REDIRECT Nobel Prize {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
.


History


Formation

up General Electric Building at 570 Lexington Avenue, New York During 1889,
Thomas Edison Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, ...

Thomas Edison
had business interests in many electricity-related companies, including Edison Lamp Company, a lamp manufacturer in
East Newark, New Jersey East Newark is a borough in the western part of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. It is a suburb of the nearby city of Newark. The borough is the second-smallest municipality by total area in the state. The Borough of East Newark was est ...
;
Edison Machine Works The Edison Machine Works was a manufacturing company set up to produce dynamos, large electric motors, and other components of the electrical illumination system being built by Thomas A. Edison in New York City. History The need for equipment in ...
, a manufacturer of
dynamo A dynamo is an electrical generator that creates direct current using a commutator. Dynamos were the first electrical generators capable of delivering power for industry, and the foundation upon which many other later electric-power conversion dev ...

dynamo
s and large
electric motor#REDIRECT Electric motor#REDIRECT Electric motor {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

electric motors in
Schenectady, New York Schenectady () is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 66,135, making it the ninth-largest city population in the state. The name "Schenectady" is ...
; Bergmann & Company, a manufacturer of electric lighting fixtures, sockets, and other electric lighting devices; and ''Edison Electric Light Company'', the
patent NPOV disputes from March 2021 A patent is a title that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure ...
-holding company and the financial arm backed by J. P. Morgan and the
Vanderbilt family The Vanderbilt family is an American family of Dutch origin who gained prominence during the Gilded Age. Their success began with the shipping and railroad empires of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the family expanded into various other areas of industr ...
for Edison's lighting experiments. In 1889, Drexel, Morgan & Co., a company founded by J.P. Morgan and Anthony J. Drexel, financed Edison's research and helped merge those companies under one corporation to form Edison General Electric Company, which was incorporated in New York on April 24, 1889. The new company also acquired Sprague Electric Railway & Motor Company in the same year. In 1880, Gerald Waldo Hart formed the American Electric Company of
New Britain, Connecticut New Britain is a city in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located approximately southwest of Hartford. According to 2010 Census, the population of the city is 73,206. Among the southernmost of the communities encompassed with ...
, which merged a few years later with
Thomson-Houston Electric Company The Thomson-Houston Electric Company was a manufacturing company which was one of the precursors of the General Electric company. History The Thomson-Houston Electric Company was formed in 1882 in the United States when a group of Lynn, Massachu ...
, led by Charles Coffin. In 1887, Hart left to become superintendent of the Edison Electric Company of
Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City (abbreviated KC or KCMO) is the largest city in Missouri by population and area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 495,327 in 2019, making it the 38th most-populous city in the United State ...
. General Electric was formed through the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric Company of Schenectady, New York, and Thomson-Houston Electric Company of
Lynn, Massachusetts Lynn is the 9th largest municipality in Massachusetts and the largest city in Essex County. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Boston city line at Suffolk Downs, Lynn is part of Greater Boston's urban inner core. Settled by Europeans ...
, with the support of Drexel, Morgan & Co. Both plants continue to operate under the GE banner to this day. The company was incorporated in New York, with the Schenectady plant used as headquarters for many years thereafter. Around the same time, General Electric's Canadian counterpart,
Canadian General Electric Canadian General Electric (CGE, also known as GE Canada) was a Canadian manufacturer of various electrical products. It was the Canadian counterpart of the American company General Electric. The unit became General Electric Canada in 1989, and is ...
, was formed. In 1893, General Electric bought the business of Rudolf Eickemeyer in
Yonkers, New York Yonkers () is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. Developed along the Hudson River, it is the fourth most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester. The population of Yonkers was 195,9 ...
, along with all of its patents and designs. One of the employees was
Charles Proteus Steinmetz Charles Proteus Steinmetz (born Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz, April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923) was a German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer and professor at Union College. He fostered the development of alternating cur ...

Charles Proteus Steinmetz
. Only recently arrived in the United States, Steinmetz was already publishing in the field of magnetic hysteresis and had earned worldwide professional recognition. Led by Steinmetz, Eickemeyer's firm had developed
transformer A transformer is a passive electrical device that transfers electrical energy from one electrical circuit to another, or multiple circuits. A varying current in any one coil of the transformer produces a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's ...
s for use in the transmission of electrical power among many other mechanical and electrical devices. Steinmetz quickly became known as the engineering wizard in GE's engineering community.


Public company

In 1896, General Electric was one of the companies listed on the newly formed
Dow Jones Industrial Average The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Dow Jones, or simply the Dow (), is a stock market index that measures the stock performance of 30 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. Although the DJIA is one of the oldest ...
, where it remained a part of the index for 122 years, though not continuously. In 1911, General Electric absorbed the National Electric Lamp Association (NELA) into its lighting business. GE established its lighting division headquarters at
Nela Park Nela Park is the headquarters of GE Lighting, and is located in East Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Nela Park is the first industrial park in the world being home to most of the lighting breakthroughs of the last century. The institute was first o ...
in
East Cleveland, Ohio East Cleveland is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States, and is the first suburb of Cleveland. The population was 17,843 at the 2010 census. East Cleveland is bounded by the city of Cleveland to its north, west, and a small section of its ...
. The lighting division has since remained in the same location.


RCA and NBC

Owen D. Young, through GE, founded the
Radio Corporation of America The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by General Electric (GE), Westinghouse, AT&T Corporation and United Fruit Company. ...
(RCA) in 1919, after purchasing the
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America (commonly called American Marconi) was incorporated in 1899. It was established as a subsidiary of the British Marconi Company and held the U.S. and Cuban rights to Guglielmo Marconi's radio (then c ...
. He aimed to expand international radio communications. GE used RCA as its retail arm for radio sales. In 1926, RCA co-founded the
National Broadcasting Company The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio and television network owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, ...
(NBC), which built two radio broadcasting networks. In 1930, General Electric was charged with antitrust violations and decided to divest itself of RCA.


Television

In 1927,
Ernst Alexanderson Ernst Frederick Werner Alexanderson (January 25, 1878 – May 14, 1975) was a Swedish-American electrical engineer, who was a pioneer in radio and television development. He invented the Alexanderson alternator, an early radio transmitter used be ...
of GE made the first demonstration of television broadcast reception at his
General Electric Realty Plot The General Electric Realty Plot, often referred to locally as the GE Realty Plot, GE Plots or just The Plot, is a residential neighborhood in Schenectady, New York, United States. It is an area of approximately just east of Union College. Origin ...
home at 1132 Adams Rd, Schenectady, New York. On January 13, 1928, he made what was said to be the first broadcast to the public in the United States on GE's W2XAD: the pictures were picked up on 1.5 square inch (9.7 square centimeter) screens in the homes of four GE executives. The sound was broadcast on GE's
WGY (AM) WGY (810 kHz "NewsRadio WGY") is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Schenectady, New York, and serving the Capital District including the Albany-Schenectady-Troy radio market. It is owned by iHeartMedia, and it airs a News/Talk radio format ...
. Experimental television station W2XAD evolved into the station
WRGB WRGB, virtual and VHF digital channel 6, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Schenectady, New York, United States and serving New York's Capital District (Albany–Schenectady–Troy) as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The ...
which, along with WGY and WGFM (now
WRVE WRVE (99.5 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Schenectady and serving the Capital District and Upper Hudson Valley of New York. It broadcasts a Hot Adult Contemporary radio format and calls itself "99.5 The River," referring to the ...
), was owned and operated by General Electric until 1983.


Power generation

Led by
Sanford Alexander Moss Sanford Alexander Moss (August 23, 1872 – November 10, 1946) was an American aviation engineer, who was the first to use a turbocharger on an aircraft engine. Life and career Sanford Moss was born 1872 in San Francisco, California to Ernest ...
, GE moved into the new field of aircraft turbo superchargers. This technology also led to the development of industrial gas turbine engines used for power production. GE introduced the first set of superchargers during World War I, and continued to develop them during the
interwar period In the context of the history of the 20th century, the interwar period was the period between the end of the First World War on 11 November 1918 and the beginning of the Second World War on 1 September 1939. Despite the relatively short period ...
. Superchargers became indispensable in the years immediately prior to World War II. GE supplied 300,000 turbo superchargers for use in fighter and bomber engines. This work led the U.S. Army Air Corps to select GE to develop the nation's first jet engine during the war. This experience, in turn, made GE a natural selection to develop the Whittle W.1
jet engine#REDIRECT Jet engine#REDIRECT Jet engine {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

jet engine that was demonstrated in the United States in 1941. GE was ranked ninth among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. Although, their early work with Whittle's designs was later handed to
Allison Engine Company The Allison Engine Company was an American aircraft engine manufacturer. Shortly after the death of James Allison in 1929 the company was purchased by the Fisher brothers. Fisher sold the company to General Motors, which owned it for most of its hi ...
. GE
Aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons an ...
then emerged as one of the world's largest engine manufacturers, bypassing the British company,
Rolls-Royce plc Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a British multinational aerospace and defence company incorporated in February 2011 that owns Rolls-Royce, a business established in 1904 which today designs, manufactures and distributes power systems for aviation a ...
. Some consumers
boycott A boycott is an act of nonviolent, voluntary and intentional abstention from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for moral, social, political, or environmental reasons. The purpose ...

boycott
ed GE light bulbs, refrigerators and other products during the 1980s and 1990s. The purpose of the boycott was to protest against GE's role in
nuclear weapon A nuclear weapon (also called an atom bomb, nuke, atomic bomb, nuclear warhead, A-bomb, or nuclear bomb) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission (fission bomb) or from a combination of fi ...
s production. In 2002, GE acquired the wind power assets of Enron during its bankruptcy proceedings. Enron Wind was the only surviving U.S. manufacturer of large wind turbines at the time, and GE increased engineering and supplies for the Wind Division and doubled the annual sales to $1.2 billion in 2003.Fairly, Peter
The Greening of GE
''
IEEE Spectrum ''IEEE Spectrum'' is a magazine edited by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The IEEE's description of it is: ''IEEE Spectrum'' began publishing in January 1964 as a successor to ''Electrical Engineering''. It contains peer ...
'', July 2005. Retrieved: November 6, 2010.
It acquired ScanWind in 2009. In 2018, GE Power garnered press attention when a model 7HA gas turbine in Texas was shut down for two months due to the break of a
turbine blade A turbine blade is the individual component which makes up the turbine section of a gas turbine or steam turbine. The blades are responsible for extracting energy from the high temperature, high pressure gas produced by the combustor. The turbine ...
. This model uses similar blade technology to GE's newest and most efficient model, the 9HA. After the break, GE developed new protective coatings and heat treatment methods. Gas turbines represent a significant portion of GE Power's revenue, and also represent a significant portion of the power generation fleet of several utility companies in the United States. Chubu Electric of Japan and
Électricité de France Électricité de France S.A. (literally ''Electricity of France''), commonly known as EDF, is a French multinational electric utility company, largely owned by the French state. Headquartered in Paris, with €71.2 billion in revenues in 2016, ED ...
also had units that were impacted. Initially, GE did not realize the turbine blade issue of the 9FB unit would impact the new HA units.


Computing

GE was one of the eight major computer companies of the 1960s along with
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Comput ...
,
BurroughsBurroughs may refer to: * Former spelling of boroughs *Burroughs, Georgia, a historically African American community now a neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia * Burroughs Corporation, a maker of adding machines and computers * Burroughs (surname), peo ...
, NCR,
Control Data Corporation Control Data Corporation (CDC) was a mainframe and supercomputer firm. CDC was one of the nine major United States computer companies through most of the 1960s; the others were IBM, Burroughs Corporation, DEC, NCR, General Electric, Honeywell, RC ...
,
Honeywell Honeywell International Inc. is an American publicly traded, multinational conglomerate headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It primarily operates in four areas of business: aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and tech ...
,
RCA The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by General Electric (GE), Westinghouse, AT&T Corporation and United Fruit Company. ...
, and
UNIVAC UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) was a line of electronic digital stored-program computers starting with the products of the Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation. Later the name was applied to a division of the Remington Rand company and succe ...
. GE had a line of general purpose and special purpose computers, including the GE 200, GE 400, and GE 600 series general purpose computers, the GE 4010, GE 4020, and GE 4060 real-time
process control#REDIRECT Process control {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
computers, and the
DATANET-30The DATANET-30 was a computer manufactured by General Electric designed in 1961-1963 to be used as a communications computer. It was later used as a front-end processor for data communications. It became the first front end communications computer. ...
and Datanet 355 message switching computers (DATANET-30 and 355 were also used as front end processors for GE mainframe computers). A Datanet 500 computer was designed, but never sold. In 1962, GE started developing its
GECOS General Comprehensive Operating System (GCOS, ; originally GECOS, General Electric Comprehensive Operating Supervisor) is a family of operating systems oriented toward the 36-bit GE/Honeywell mainframe computers. The original version of GCOS was d ...
(later renamed GCOS)
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also inclu ...
, originally for
batch processing Computerized batch processing is the running of "jobs that can run without end user interaction, or can be scheduled to run as resources permit." History The term "batch processing" originates in the traditional classification of methods of product ...
, but later extended to
timesharing In computing, time-sharing is the sharing of a computing resource among many users at the same time by means of multiprogramming and multi-tasking.DEC Timesharing (1965), by Peter Clark, The DEC Professional, Volume 1, Number 1 Its emergence as ...
and
transaction processing Transaction processing is information processing in computer science that is divided into individual, indivisible operations called ''transactions''. Each transaction must succeed or fail as a complete unit; it can never be only partially complet ...
. Versions of GCOS are still in use today. From 1964 to 1969, GE and
Bell Laboratories Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984)) is an American industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish compa ...
(which soon dropped out) joined with
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1861, the institute has since played a key role in the development of modern science, engineering, mathematics ...
to develop the
Multics Multics ("Multiplexed Information and Computing Service") is an influential early time-sharing operating system based on the concept of a single-level memory.Dennis M. Ritchie, "The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System", Communications of the ...
operating system on the
GE 645The GE 645 mainframe computer was a development of the GE 635 for use in the Multics project. This was the first computer that implemented a configurable hardware protected memory system. The original CTSS was implemented on a modified IBM 7094 with ...
mainframe computer. The project took longer than expected and was not a major commercial success, but it demonstrated concepts such as single-level storage,
dynamic linking In computing, a dynamic linker is the part of an operating system that loads and links the shared libraries needed by an executable when it is executed (at "run time"), by copying the content of libraries from persistent storage to RAM, filling jump ...
,
hierarchical file system#REDIRECT Hierarchical File System {{R from other capitalisation ...
, and ring-oriented security. Active development of Multics continued until 1985. GE got into computer manufacturing because in the 1950s they were the largest user of computers outside the
United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories and ...
, aside from being the first business in the world to own a computer. Its major appliance manufacturing plant "
Appliance Park GE Appliances is an American home appliance manufacturer based in Louisville, Kentucky. It has been majority owned by Chinese multinational home appliances company Haier since 2016. It is one of the largest appliance companies in the United State ...
" was the first non-governmental site to host one. However, in 1970, GE sold its computer division to
Honeywell Honeywell International Inc. is an American publicly traded, multinational conglomerate headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It primarily operates in four areas of business: aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and tech ...
, exiting the computer manufacturing industry, though it retained its timesharing operations for some years afterwards. GE was a major provider of computer
time-sharing In computing, time-sharing is the sharing of a computing resource among many users at the same time by means of multiprogramming and multi-tasking.DEC Timesharing (1965), by Peter Clark, The DEC Professional, Volume 1, Number 1 Its emergence as ...
services, through General Electric Information Services (GEIS, now GXS), offering online computing services that included
GEnie GEnie (General Electric Network for Information Exchange) was an online service created by a General Electric business, GEIS (now GXS), that ran from 1985 through the end of 1999. In 1994, GEnie claimed around 350,000 users. Peak simultaneous usag ...
. In 2000, when United Technologies Corp. planned to buy Honeywell, GE made a counter-offer that was approved by Honeywell. On July 3, 2001, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has developed an internal s ...
issued a statement that "prohibit the proposed acquisition by General Electric Co. of Honeywell Inc.". The reasons given were it "would create or strengthen dominant positions on several markets and that the remedies proposed by GE were insufficient to resolve the competition concerns resulting from the proposed acquisition of Honeywell". On June 27, 2014, GE partnered with collaborative design company Quirky to announce its connected LED bulb called Link. The Link bulb is designed to communicate with smartphones and tablets using a mobile app called
Wink A wink is a facial expression made by briefly closing one eye. A wink is an informal mode of non-verbal communication usually signaling shared hidden knowledge or intent. However, it is ambiguous by itself and highly dependent upon additional con ...
.


Acquisitions and divestments

In December 1985, GE reacquired RCA, primarily for the
NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio and television network owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, ...
television network (also parent of
Telemundo Communications Group Telemundo (; formerly NetSpan) is an American Spanish-language terrestrial television network owned by NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, a division of NBCUniversal, which in turn is owned by Comcast. It provides content nationally with programm ...
) for $6.28 billion; this merger surpassed the
Capital Cities/ABC Capital Cities/ABC Inc., was an American media company. It was founded in 1985 when Capital Cities Communications purchased the much larger American Broadcasting Company. It was eventually acquired by The Walt Disney Company and re-branded itself ...
merger that happened earlier that year as the largest non-oil merger in world business history. The remainder was sold to various companies, including
Bertelsmann Bertelsmann is a German private multinational conglomerate corporation based in Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is one of the world's largest media conglomerates and also active in the service sector and education. Bertelsmann ...
(Bertelsmann acquired
RCA Records RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records; also Arista Records, ...
) and
Thomson SA Technicolor SA, formerly Thomson SARL and Thomson Multimedia, is an French multinational corporation that provides services and products for the communication, media and entertainment industries. Technicolor's headquarters are located in Paris, ...
, which traces its roots to Thomson-Houston, one of the original components of GE. Also in 1986, Kidder, Peabody & Co., a U.S.-based securities firm, was sold to GE and following heavy losses was sold to
PaineWebber PaineWebber & Co. was an American investment bank and stock brokerage firm that was acquired by the Swiss bank UBS in 2000. The company was founded in 1880 in Boston, Massachusetts, by William Alfred Paine and Wallace G. Webber. Operating with two ...
in 1994. In 2002,
Francisco Partners Francisco Partners is an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. Founded in August 1999 and based in San Francisco and London, Francisco Partners Management L.P. has ...
and
Norwest Venture Partners Norwest Venture Partners (Norwest) is an American venture and growth equity (GE) investment firm with more than $9.5B in capital under management. The firm targets early to late-stage venture and growth equity investments across several sectors, i ...
acquired a division of GE called GE Information Systems (GEIS). The new company, named GXS, is based in
Gaithersburg, Maryland Gaithersburg ( ), officially the City of Gaithersburg, is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. At the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, Gaithersburg had a population of 59,933, making it the fourth-largest incorporated city in the st ...
. GXS is a provider of B2B e-Commerce solutions. GE maintains a minority stake in GXS. Also in 2002,
GE Wind Energy GE Wind Energy is a branch of GE Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of General Electric. The company manufactures and sells wind turbines to the international market. In 2018, GE was the fourth largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world. History ...
was formed when GE bought the
wind turbine A wind turbine is a device that converts the wind's kinetic energy into electrical energy. Wind turbines are manufactured in a wide range of sizes, with either horizontal or vertical axes. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of large t ...
manufacturing assets of Enron Wind after the
Enron scandal The Enron scandal was an accounting scandal involving Enron Corporation, an American energy company based in Houston, Texas. Upon being publicized in October 2001, the company declared bankruptcy and its accounting firm, Arthur Andersen then one ...
s.Murphy, Dennis
GE completes Enron Wind acquisition; Launches GE Wind Energy
''Desert Sky Wind Farm'', May 10, 2002. Retrieved: May 1, 2010.
In 2004, GE bought 80% of Vivendi Universal Entertainment, the parent of
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film production and distribution company ow ...
from
Vivendi Vivendi SE is a French media conglomerate headquartered in Paris. Widely known as the owner of Universal Music Group, Groupe Canal+, Havas, Editis, Vivendi Village and Dailymotion, the company has activities in music, television, film, book publ ...
. Vivendi bought 20% of NBC forming the company
NBCUniversal NBCUniversal Media, LLC is an American mass media and entertainment conglomerate owned by Comcast and headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. NBCUniversal is primarily involved in the media and entertainment indu ...
. GE then owned 80% of NBCUniversal and Vivendi owned 20%. In 2004, GE completed the spin-off of most of its
mortgage A mortgage loan or simply mortgage () is a loan used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or alternatively by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose while putting a lien on the property being ...
and
life insurance Life insurance (or life assurance, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations) is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the benefit) in exc ...
assets into an independent company,
Genworth Financial Genworth Financial is an S&P 400 insurance company. The firm was founded as The Life Insurance Company of Virginia in 1871. In 1986, Life of Virginia was acquired by Combined Insurance, which became Aon plc in 1987. In 1996, Life of Virginia was so ...
, based in
Richmond, Virginia (Thus do we reach the stars) , image_map = , mapsize = 250 px , map_caption = Location within Virginia , pushpin_map = Virginia#USA , pushpin_label ...
.
Genpact Genpact is an American professional services firm legally domiciled in Bermuda with its headquarters in New York City, New York. History Genpact began in 1997 as a unit within General Electric. Its charter was to provide business process servi ...
formerly known as GE Capital International Services (GECIS) was established by GE in late 1997 as its captive India-based BPO. GE sold 60% stake in Genpact to General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners in 2005 and hived off Genpact into an independent business. GE is still a major client to Genpact today, for services in customer service, finance, information technology, and analytics. In May 2007, GE acquired Smiths Aerospace for $4.8 billion. Also in 2007, GE Oil & Gas acquired Vetco Gray for $1.9 billion, followed by the acquisition of Hydril Pressure & Control in 2008 for $1.1 billion. GE Plastics was sold in 2008 to
SABIC Saudi Basic Industries Corporation ( ar, الشركة السعودية للصناعات الأساسية), known as SABIC ( ar, سابك), is a Saudi Arabian multinational chemical manufacturing company, and a subsidiary of the state-owned petroleum ...
(Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation). In May 2008, GE announced it was exploring options for divesting the bulk of its consumer and industrial business. On December 3, 2009, it was announced that NBCUniversal would become a joint venture between GE and cable television operator
Comcast Comcast Corporation (formerly registered as Comcast Holdings)Before the AT&T merger in 2001, the parent company was Comcast Holdings Corporation. Comcast Holdings Corporation now refers to a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation, not the parent comp ...
. Comcast would hold a controlling interest in the company, while GE would retain a 49% stake and would buy out shares owned by Vivendi. Vivendi would sell its 20% stake in NBCUniversal to GE for US$5.8 billion. Vivendi would sell 7.66% of NBCUniversal to GE for US$2 billion if the GE/Comcast deal was not completed by September 2010 and then sell the remaining 12.34% stake of NBCUniversal to GE for US$3.8 billion when the deal was completed or to the public via an IPO if the deal was not completed. On March 1, 2010, GE announced plans to sell its 20.85% stake in Turkey-based Garanti Bank. In August 2010, GE Healthcare signed a strategic partnership to bring cardiovascular Computed Tomography (CT) technology from start-up Arineta Ltd. of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Se ...
to the hospital market. In October 2010, GE acquired gas engines manufacture Dresser Inc. in a $3 billion deal and also bought a $1.6 billion portfolio of retail credit cards from
Citigroup Citigroup Inc. or Citi (stylized as citi) is an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation headquartered in New York City. The company was formed by the merger of banking giant Citicorp and financial conglomerate ...

Citigroup
Inc. On October 14, 2010, GE announced the acquisition of data migration & SCADA simulation specialists Opal Software. In December 2010, for the second time that year (after the Dresser acquisition), GE bought the oil sector company Wellstream., an oil pipe maker, for 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion). In March 2011, GE announced that it had completed the acquisition of privately held Lineage Power Holdings, Inc., from The Gores Group, LLC. In April 2011, GE announced it had completed its purchase of John Wood plc's Well Support Division for $2.8 billion. In 2011, GE Capital sold its $2 billion Mexican assets to
Santander Santander may refer to: Places *Santander, Spain, the original place to receive this name, a port city and capital of the autonomous community of Cantabria, Spain *Santander Department, a department of Colombia *Santander State, former state of Co ...
for $162 million and exit the business in Mexico. Santander additionally assumed the portfolio debts of GE Capital in the country. Following this, GE Capital focused in its core business and shed its non-core assets. In June 2012, CEO and President of GE Jeff Immelt said that the company would invest 3
billion A billion is a number with two distinct definitions: *1,000,000,000, i.e. one thousand million, or (ten to the ninth power), as defined on the short scale. This is now the meaning in both British and American English. *1,000,000,000,000, i.e. on ...
to accelerate its businesses in
Karnataka Karnataka (ISO: , ) is a state in the south western region of India. It is the largest state in South India and sixth largest in India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the ...
. In October 2012, GE acquired $7 billion worth of bank deposits from Metlife Inc. On March 19, 2013, Comcast bought GE's shares in NBCU for $16.7 billion, ending the company's longtime stake in television and film media. In April 2013, GE acquired oilfield pump maker
Lufkin Industries Lufkin Industries is an American manufacturing company founded in 1902 and headquartered in Missouri City, Texas. Lufkin is a provider of rod lift products, automated control and optimization equipment and software for rod lift equipment to the o ...
for $2.98 billion. In April 2014, it was announced that GE was in talks to acquire the global power division of French engineering group
Alstom Alstom SA is a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer operating worldwide in rail transport markets, active in the fields of passenger transportation, signalling, and locomotives, with products including the AGV, TGV, Eurostar, Avelia a ...
for a figure of around $13 billion. A rival joint bid was submitted in June 2014 by
Siemens Siemens AG ( ) is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe with branch offices abroad. The principal divisions of the company are ''Industry'', ''Energy'', ...
and
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment and electronics company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. MHI is one of the core companies of the Mitsubishi Group and its automobile department is the predecessor of Mitsubishi Motors. ...
(MHI) with Siemens seeking to acquire Alstom's gas turbine business for €3.9 billion, and MHI proposing a joint venture in steam turbines, plus a €3.1 billion cash investment. In June 2014 a formal offer from GE worth $17 billion was agreed by the Alstom board. Part of the transaction involved the French government taking a 20% stake in Alstom to help secure France's energy and transport interests and French jobs. A rival offer from Siemens-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was rejected. The acquisition was expected to be completed in 2015. In October 2014, GE announced it was considering the sale of its
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland, a country in Europe * Polish language * Poles, people from Poland or of Polish descent * Polish chicken *Polish brothers (Mark Polish and Michael Polish, born 1970), American twin screenwri ...
banking business
Bank BPHBank BPH (Bank Przemysłowo-Handlowy) was a Polish universal bank. Until 2008, it was majority owned by UniCredit. In 2008, GE Money Bank took over 89% of shares and on 31 December 2009, Bank BPH merged with GE Money Bank Polska. At its peak, the ba ...
. Later in 2014, General Electric announced plans to open its global operations center in
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the government seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located at the northern side of the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers, the latter of which marks the state ...

Cincinnati
, Ohio. The Global Operations Center opened in October 2016 as home to GE's multifunctional shared services organization. It supports the company's finance/accounting, human resources, information technology, supply chain, legal and commercial operations, and is one of GE's four multifunctional shared services centers worldwide in
Pudong Pudong is a district of Shanghai located east of the Huangpu River across from the historic city center of Shanghai in Puxi. The name refers to its historic position as "The East Bank" of the Huangpu River, which flows through central Shangha ...
, China;
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the ninth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city has an estimated population of 1,752,286 over a land area of about . Budapest is bot ...
, Hungary; and
Monterrey Monterrey (; ) is the capital and largest city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León, Mexico. The city is anchor to the Monterrey metropolitan area, the second most productive in Mexico with a GDP (PPP) of US$123 billion, and the second larges ...

Monterrey
, Mexico. In April 2015, GE announced its intention to sell off its property portfolio, worth $26.5 billion, to
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California, operational headquarters in Manhattan, and managerial offices throughout the United States and overseas. ...
and
The Blackstone Group The Blackstone Group Inc. is an American alternative investment management company based in New York City. In 2019, Blackstone converted from being a publicly traded partnership into being a corporation. Blackstone's private equity business has ...
. It was announced in April 2015 that GE would sell most of its finance unit and return around $90 billion to shareholders as the firm looked to trim down on its holdings and rid itself of its image of a "hybrid" company, working in both banking and manufacturing. In August 2015, GE Capital agreed to sell its Healthcare Financial Services business to
Capital One Capital One Financial Corporation is an American bank holding company specializing in credit cards, auto loans, banking, and savings accounts, headquartered in McLean, Virginia with operations primarily in the United States. It is on the list of ...
for US$9 billion. The transaction involved US$8.5 billion of loans made to a wide array of sectors including senior housing, hospitals, medical offices, outpatient services, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Also in August 2015, GE Capital agreed to sell GE Capital Bank's on-line deposit platform to
Goldman Sachs The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., () is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. It offers services in investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage, and securit ...
. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the sale included US$8 billion of on-line deposits and another US$8 billion of brokered certificates of deposit. The sale was part of GE's strategic plan to exit the U.S. banking sector and to free itself from tightening banking regulations. GE also aimed to shed its status as a "systematically important financial institution". In September 2015, GE Capital agreed to sell its transportation-finance unit to Canada's
Bank of Montreal The Bank of Montreal (french: Banque de Montréal) is a Canadian multinational investment bank and financial services company. Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1817 as Montreal Bank, its head office remains in Montreal, with its operational headqu ...

Bank of Montreal
. The unit sold had US$8.7 billion (CA$11.5 billion) of assets, 600 employees and 15 offices in the U.S. and Canada. Exact terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the final price would be based on the value of the assets at closing, plus a premium according to the parties. In October 2015, activist investor
Nelson Peltz Nelson Peltz (born June 24, 1942) is an American billionaire businessman and investor. He is a founding partner, together with Peter W. May and Edward P. Garden, of Trian Fund Management, an alternative investment management fund based in New York ...
's fund Trian bought a $2.5 billion stake in the company. In January 2016,
Haier Haier Group Corporation () is a Chinese multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong. It designs, develops, manufactures and sells products including refrigerators, air conditioners, washing ma ...
Group acquired GE's appliance division for $5.4 billion. In October 2016,
GE Renewable Energy GE Renewable Energy is a division of General Electric headquartered in Paris, France focusing on production of energy from renewable sources. Its portfolio of products includes wind (onshore and offshore), hydroelectric and solar (concentrated and p ...
agreed to pay €1.5 billion to
Doughty Hanson & Co Doughty Hanson & Co is a British private equity fund manager focused on leveraged buyout and recapitalization transactions primarily of upper middle-market companies in Europe. The firm also invests opportunistically in European real estate and pr ...
for LM Wind Power during 2017. At the end of October 2016, it was announced that GE was under negotiations for a deal valued at about $30 billion to combine
GE Oil and Gas GE Oil & Gas was the division of General Electric that owned its investments in the petroleum industry. In July 2017, this division was merged with Baker Hughes. The division supplied equipment for the petroleum industry including drilling, subsea ...
with
Baker Hughes Baker Hughes Company is an American international industrial service company and one of the world's largest oil field services companies. The company provides the oil and gas industry with products and services for oil drilling, formation evaluati ...
. The transaction would create a publicly traded entity controlled by GE. It was announced that
GE Oil and Gas GE Oil & Gas was the division of General Electric that owned its investments in the petroleum industry. In July 2017, this division was merged with Baker Hughes. The division supplied equipment for the petroleum industry including drilling, subsea ...
would sell off its water treatment business as part of its divestment agreement with
Baker Hughes Baker Hughes Company is an American international industrial service company and one of the world's largest oil field services companies. The company provides the oil and gas industry with products and services for oil drilling, formation evaluati ...
. The deal was cleared by the EU in May 2017, and by the DOJ in June 2017. The merger agreement was approved by shareholders at the end of June 2017. On July 3, 2017, the transaction was completed and Baker Hughes became a GE company and was renamed Bake Hughes, A GE Company (BHGE). In November 2018, GE reduced its stake in Baker Hughes to 50.4%. On 18 October 2019, GE reduced its stake to 36.8% and the company was renamed back to Baker Hughes. In April 2017, GE announced the name of their $200 million corporate headquarters would be "GE Innovation Point". The
groundbreaking Groundbreaking ceremony for Hunts Point Cooperative Market in New York City (1962) Groundbreaking, also known as cutting, sod-cutting, turning the first sod or a sod-turning ceremony, is a traditional ceremony in many cultures that celebrates the ...
ceremony for the 2.5-acre, 800-person campus was held on May 8, 2017, and the completion date is expected to be sometime in mid-2019. In May 2017, GE had signed $15 billion of business deals with
Saudi Arabia (Shahada) , national_anthem = "" "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates = , largest_city = Riyadh , official_languages = Arabic , languages_type = Spoken l ...
. Saudi Arabia is one of GE's largest customers. In September 2017, GE announced the sale of its Industrial Solutions Business to ABB. The deal closed on June 30, 2018.


Fraud allegations and notice of possible SEC civil action

On August 15, 2019,
Harry Markopolos Harry M. Markopolos (born October 22, 1956) is an American former securities industry executive and a forensic accounting and financial fraud investigator. From 1999 to 2008, Markopolos uncovered evidence that suggested that Bernie Madoff's weal ...
, a financial fraud investigator known for his discovery of a Ponzi Scheme run by
Bernard Madoff Bernard Lawrence Madoff ( ; April 29, 1938April 14, 2021) was an American financier and convicted fraudster who ran the world's largest Ponzi scheme. He was at one time non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market before being revealed a ...
, accused General Electric of being a "bigger fraud than Enron", alleging $38 billion in accounting fraud. GE denied wrongdoing. On October 6, 2020, General Electric reported it received a Wells notice from the
Securities and Exchange Commission The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a large independent agency of the United States federal government that was created following the stock market crash in the 1930s to protect investors and the national banking system. The prim ...
stating the SEC may take civil action for possible violations of securities laws.


Insufficient reserves for long-term care policies

It is alleged that GE is "hiding" (i.e. under-reserved) $29 billion in losses related to its long-term care business. According to an August 2019 Fitch Ratings report, there are concerns that GE has not set aside enough money to cover its long-term care liabilities. In 2018, a lawsuit (the Bezio case) was filed in New York state court on behalf of participants in GE's 401(k) plan and shareowners alleging violations of Section 11 of the
Securities Act of 1933 The Securities Act of 1933, also known as the 1933 Act, the Securities Act, the Truth in Securities Act, the Federal Securities Act, and the '33 Act, was enacted by the United States Congress on May 27, 1933, during the Great Depression and after ...
based on alleged misstatements and omissions related to insurance reserves and performance of GE's business segments. The Kansas Insurance Department (KID) is requiring General Electric to make $14.5 billion of capital contributions for its insurance contracts during the 7-year period ending in 2024. GE reported the total liability related to its insurance contracts increased significantly from 2016 to 2019: :December 31, 2016 $26.1 billion :December 31, 2017 $38.6 billion :December 31, 2018 $35.6 billion :December 31, 2019 $39.6 billion In 2018, GE announced the issuance of the new standard by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) regarding Financial Services - Insurance (Topic 944) will materially affect its financial statements. Mr. Markopolos estimated there will be a $US 10.5 billion charge when the new accounting standard is adopted in the first quarter of 2021.


Anticipated $8 billion loss upon disposition of Baker Hughes

In 2017, GE acquired a 62.5% interest in Baker Hughes (BHGE) when it combined its oil & gas business with Baker Hughes Incorporated. In 2018, GE reduced its interest to 50.4%, resulting in the realization of a $2.1 billion loss. GE is planning to divest its remaining interest and has warned that the divestment will result in an additional loss of $8.4 billion (assuming a BHGE share price of $23.57 per share). In response to the fraud allegations, GE noted the amount of the loss would be $7.4 billion if the divestment occurred on July 26, 2019. Mr. Markopolos noted that BHGE is an asset available for sale and therefore
mark-to-market accounting Mark-to-market (MTM or M2M) or fair value accounting refers to accounting for the "fair value" of an asset or liability based on the current market price, or the price for similar assets and liabilities, or based on another objectively assessed " ...
is required. Markopolos noted GE's
current ratioThe current ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures whether a firm has enough resources to meet its short-term obligations. It compares a firm's current assets to its current liabilities, and is expressed as follows: \mbox = \frac The current ...
was only 0.67. He expressed concerns that GE may file for bankruptcy if there is a recession.


Other

In 2018, the GE Pension Plan reported losses of US$3.3 billion on plan assets. In 2018, General Electric changed the discount rate used to calculate the actuarial liabilities of its pension plans. The rate was increased from 3.64% to 4.34%. Consequently, the reported liability for the underfunded pension plans decreased by $7 billion year-over-year, from $34.2 billion in 2017 to $27.2 billion in 2018. In October 2018, General Electric announced it would "freeze pensions" for about 20,000 salaried U.S. employees. The employees will be moved to a defined-contribution retirement plan in 2021. On March 30, 2020, General Electric factory workers protested to convert jet engine factories to make ventilators during the
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crisis. In June 2020, GE made an agreement to sell its Lighting business to Savant Systems, Inc., an industry leader in the professional smart home space. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. In November 2020, General Electric warned it would be cutting jobs waiting for a recovery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Financial performance


Dividends

In 2018, GE reduced its quarterly dividend from $0.12 to $0.01 per share.


Stock

As a publicly-traded company on the
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed comp ...
, GE stock was one of the 30 components of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Dow Jones, or simply the Dow (), is a stock market index that measures the stock performance of 30 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. Although the DJIA is one of the oldest ...
from 1907 to 2018, the longest continuous presence of any company on the index, and during this time the only company which was part of the original Dow Jones Industrial Index created in 1896. In August 2000, the company had a market capitalization of $601 billion, and was the most valuable company in the world. On June 26, 2018, the stock was removed from the index and replaced with
Walgreens Boots Alliance Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. is an American holding company headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, that owns Walgreens, Boots, and a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution companies. The company was formed on Decembe ...
. In the years leading to its removal, GE was the worst performing stock in the Dow, falling more than 55 percent year on year and more than 25 percent year to date. The company continued to lose value after being removed from the index. File:Linear GE Stock Price Graph 1962-2013.png, Linear GE stock price graph 1962–2013 File:GE Trading Volume Graph.png, GE trading volume graph


Bribery

In July 2010, General Electric was willing to pay $23.4 million to settle an SEC complaint, as GE bribed Iraqi government officials to win contracts under the U.N. oil-for-food program.


Corporate affairs

In 1959, General Electric was accused of promoting the largest illegal cartel in the United States since the adoption of the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) in order to maintain artificially high prices. In total, 29 companies and 45 executives would be convicted. Subsequent parliamentary inquiries revealed that "white-collar crime" was by far the most costly form of crime for the United States' finances. GE is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. However its main offices are located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza at Rockefeller Center in
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
, known now as the Comcast Building. It was formerly known as the GE Building for the prominent GE logo on the roof;
NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio and television network owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, ...
's headquarters and main studios are also located in the building. Through its RCA subsidiary, it has been associated with the center since its construction in the 1930s. GE moved its corporate headquarters from the GE Building on Lexington Avenue to Fairfield, Connecticut in 1974. In 2016, GE announced a move to the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, partly as a result of an incentive package provide by state and city governments. The first group of workers arrived in the summer of 2016, and the full move will be completed by 2018. Due to poor financial performance and corporate downsizing, GE sold the land it planned to build its new headquarters building on, instead choosing to occupy neighboring leased buildings. GE's tax return is the largest return filed in the United States; the 2005 return was approximately 24,000 pages when printed out, and 237 megabytes when submitted electronically. As of 2011, the company spent more on U.S. lobbying than any other company. In 2005, GE launched its "''Ecomagination''" initiative in an attempt to position itself as a "green" company. GE is one of the biggest players in the wind power industry and is developing environment-friendly products such as hybrid locomotives, desalination and water reuse solutions, and photovoltaic cells. The company "plans to build the largest solar-panel-making factory in the U.S.," and has set goals for its subsidiaries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. On May 21, 2007, GE announced it would sell its GE Plastics division to petrochemicals manufacturer SABIC for net proceeds of $11.6 billion. The transaction took place on August 31, 2007, and the company name changed to SABIC Innovative Plastics, with Brian Gladden as CEO. In February 2017, GE announced that the company intends to close the Gender pay gap, gender gap by promising to hire and place 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020. The company is also seeking to have a 50:50 male to female Gender equality, gender representation in all entry-level technical programs. In October 2017, GE announced they would be closing research and development centers in Shanghai, Munich and Rio de Janeiro. The company spent $5 billion on R&D in the last year. On February 25, 2019, GE sold its diesel locomotive business to Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (WAB), also known as Wabtec.


CEO

, John L. Flannery was replaced by H. Lawrence Culp Jr. as Chairman and CEO in a unanimous vote of the GE Board of Directors. *Charles A. Coffin (1913–1922) *Owen D. Young (1922–1939, 1942–1945) *Philip D. Reed (1940–1942, 1945–1958) *Ralph J. Cordiner (1958–1963) *Gerald L. Phillippe (1963–1972) *Fred J. Borch (1967–1972) *Reginald H. Jones (1972–1981) *Jack Welch (1981–2001) *Jeff Immelt (2001–2017) *John L. Flannery (2017–2018) *H. Lawrence Culp Jr. (2018–present)


Corporate recognition and rankings

In 2011, ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' ranked GE the sixth-largest firm in the U.S., and the 14th-most profitable. Other rankings for 2011/2012 include the following: * #18 company for leaders (''Fortune'') * #82 green company (''Newsweek'') * #91 most admired company (''Fortune'') * #19 most innovative company (''Fast Company (magazine), Fast Company''). In 2012, GE's brand was valued at $28.8 billion. CEO Jeff Immelt had a set of changes in the presentation of the brand commissioned in 2004, after he took the reins as chairman, to unify the diversified businesses of GE. The changes included a new corporate color palette, small modifications to the GE logo, a new customized font (GE Inspira) and a new slogan, "Imagination at work", composed by David Lucas, to replace the slogan "We Bring Good Things to Life" used since 1979. The standard requires many headlines to be lowercased and adds visual "white space" to documents and advertising. The changes were designed by Wolff Olins and are used on GE's marketing, literature, and website. In 2014, a second typeface family was introduced: GE Sans and Serif by Bold Monday created under art direction by Wolff Olins. , GE had appeared on the
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along wit ...
list for 22 years and held the 11th rank. GE was removed from the
Dow Jones Industrial Average The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Dow Jones, or simply the Dow (), is a stock market index that measures the stock performance of 30 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. Although the DJIA is one of the oldest ...
on June 28, 2018, after the value had dropped below 1% of the index's weight.


Businesses

GE's primary business divisions are: * GE Additive * GE Aviation * GE Capital * GE Digital * GE Healthcare * GE Power *
GE Renewable Energy GE Renewable Energy is a division of General Electric headquartered in Paris, France focusing on production of energy from renewable sources. Its portfolio of products includes wind (onshore and offshore), hydroelectric and solar (concentrated and p ...
* GE Global Research Through these businesses, GE participates in markets that include the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity (e.g. Nuclear reactor technology, nuclear, gas and solar), lighting, industrial automation, medical imaging equipment, motors, Locomotive, railway locomotives, aircraft jet engines, and aviation services. Through GE Commercial Finance, GE Consumer Finance, GE Equipment Services, and GE Insurance it offers a range of financial services. It has a presence in over 100 countries. General Imaging manufacturers GE digital cameras. Even though the first wave of conglomerates (such as ITT Corporation, Ling-Temco-Vought, Tenneco, etc.) fell by the wayside by the mid-1980s, in the late 1990s, another wave (consisting of Westinghouse Electric (1886), Westinghouse, Tyco International, Tyco, and others) tried and failed to emulate GE's success. GE is planning to set up a silicon carbide chip packaging R&D center in coalition with SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. The project will create 470 jobs with the potential to grow to 820 jobs within 10 years. On September 14, 2015, GE announced the creation of a new unit: GE Digital, which will bring together its software and IT capabilities. The new business unit will be headed by Bill Ruh, who joined GE in 2011 from Cisco Systems and has since worked on GE's software efforts.


Former divisions

GE Industrial was a division providing appliances, lighting and industrial products; factory automation systems; plastics, silicones and quartz products; security and sensors technology, and equipment financing, management and operating services. As of 2007 it had 70,000 employees generating $17.7 billion in revenue. After some major realignments in late 2007, GE Industrial was organized in two main sub businesses: * GE Consumer & Industrial ** GE Appliances, Appliances ** Electrical Distribution ** GE Lighting, Lighting * GE Enterprise Solutions ** Digital Energy ** GE Fanuc Automation, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms ** GE Security, Security ** GE Sensing, Sensing & Inspection Technologies The former GE Plastics division was sold in August 2007 and is now SABIC (Saudia), SABIC Innovative Plastics. On May 4, 2008, it was announced that GE would auction off its appliances business for an expected sale of $5–8 billion. However, this plan fell through as a result of the recession. The former GE Home & Business Solutions, GE Appliances and Lighting segment was dissolved in 2014 when GE's GE Appliances, appliance division was attempted to be sold to Electrolux for $5.4 billion, but eventually sold it to
Haier Haier Group Corporation () is a Chinese multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong. It designs, develops, manufactures and sells products including refrigerators, air conditioners, washing ma ...
in June 2016 due to antitrust filing against Electrolux. GE Lighting (consumer lighting) and the newly created Current (company), Current, powered by GE, which deals in commercial LED, solar, EV, and energy storage, became stand-alone businesses within the company, until the sale of the later to American Industrial Partners in April 2019 The former GE Transportation division merged with Wabtec on February 25, 2019, leaving GE with a 24.9% holding in Wabtec.


Environmental record


Pollution

GE has a history of some of its activities giving rise to large-scale air pollution, air and water pollution. Based on data from 2000, researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute listed the corporation as the fourth-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with more than 4.4 million pounds per year (2,000 tons) of toxic chemicals released into the air. GE has also been implicated in the creation of toxic waste. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA documents, only the United States Government,
Honeywell Honeywell International Inc. is an American publicly traded, multinational conglomerate headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It primarily operates in four areas of business: aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and tech ...
, and Chevron Corporation are responsible for producing more Superfund toxic waste sites. In 1983, New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York to compel GE to pay for the clean-up of what was claimed to be more than 100,000 tons of chemicals dumped from their plant in Waterford, New York. In 1999, the company agreed to pay a $250 million settlement in connection with claims it polluted the Housatonic River (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) and other sites with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances. In 2003, acting on concerns that the plan proposed by GE did not "provide for adequate protection of public health and the environment," the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a unilateral administrative order for the company to "address cleanup at the GE site" in Rome, Georgia, also contaminated with PCBs. The nuclear reactors involved in the 2011 crisis at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima I in Japan were GE designs, and the architectural designs were done by Ebasco, formerly owned by GE. Concerns over the design and safety of these reactors were raised as early as 1972, but tsunami danger was not discussed at that time. , the same model nuclear power reactors designed by GE are operating in the US; however, as of May 31, 2019, the controversial Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, has been shut down and is in the process of decommission.


Pollution of the Hudson River

GE heavily contaminated the Hudson River with Polychlorinated biphenyl, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between 1947 and 1977. This pollution caused a range of harmful effects to wildlife and people who eat fish from the river or drink the water. In response to the contamination, activists protested in various ways. Musician Pete Seeger founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the Clearwater Festival to draw attention to the problem. In 1983, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared a 200-mile (320 km) stretch of the river, from Hudson Falls to New York City, to be a Superfund site requiring cleanup. This Superfund site is considered to be one of the largest in the nation. Other sources of pollution, including mercury contamination and sewage dumping, have also contributed to problems in the Hudson River watershed.


Pollution of the Housatonic River

From until 1977, GE polluted the Housatonic River with PCB discharges from its plant at Pittsfield, Massachusetts. EPA designated the Pittsfield plant and several miles of the Housatonic to be a Superfund site in 1997, and ordered GE to remediate the site. Aroclor 1254 and Aroclor 1260, made by Monsanto, was the primary contaminant of the pollution. The highest concentrations of PCBs in the Housatonic River are found in Woods Pond in Lenox, Massachusetts, just south of Pittsfield, where they have been measured up to 110 mg/kg in the sediment. About 50% of all the PCBs currently in the river are estimated to be retained in the sediment behind Woods Pond dam. This is estimated to be about of PCBs. Former filled oxbows are also polluted. Waterfowl and fish who live in and around the river contain significant levels of PCBs and can present health risks if consumed.


Environmental initiatives

On June 6, 2011, GE announced that it has licensed solar thermal technology from California-based eSolar for use in power plants that use both solar and natural gas. On May 26, 2011, GE unveiled its EV Solar Carport, a carport that incorporates solar panels on its roof, with electric vehicle charging stations under its cover. In May 2005, GE announced the launch of a program called "Ecomagination", intended, in the words of CEO Jeff Immelt, "to develop tomorrow's solutions such as solar energy, hybrid locomotives, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger durable materials, efficient lighting, and water purification technology". The announcement prompted an op-ed piece in ''The New York Times'' to observe that, "while General Electric's increased emphasis on clean technology will probably result in improved products and benefit its bottom line, Mr. Immelt's credibility as a spokesman on national environmental policy is fatally flawed because of his company's intransigence in cleaning up its own toxic legacy." GE has said that it will invest $1.4 billion in clean technology research and development in 2008 as part of its Ecomagination initiative. As of October 2008, the scheme had resulted in 70 green products being brought to market, ranging from halogen lamps to biogas engines. In 2007, GE raised the annual revenue target for its Ecomagination initiative from $20 billion in 2010 to $25 billion following positive market response to its new product lines. In 2010, GE continued to raise its investment by adding $10 billion into Ecomagination over the next five years. GE Energy's renewable energy business has expanded greatly, to keep up with growing U.S. and global demand for clean energy. Since entering the renewable energy industry in 2002, GE has invested more than $850 million in renewable energy commercialization. In August 2008, it acquired Kelman Ltd, a Northern Ireland-based company specializing in advanced monitoring and diagnostics technologies for transformers used in renewable energy generation and announced an expansion of its business in Northern Ireland in May 2010. In 2009, GE's renewable energy initiatives, which include solar power, wind power and GE Jenbacher gas engines using renewable and non-renewable methane-based gases, employ more than 4,900 people globally and have created more than 10,000 supporting jobs. GE Energy and Orion New Zealand (Orion) have announced the implementation of the first phase of a GE network management system to help improve power reliability for customers. GE's ENMAC Distribution Management System is the foundation of Orion's initiative. The system of smart grid technologies will significantly improve the network company's ability to manage big network emergencies and help it to restore power faster when outages occur. In June 2018, GE Volunteers, an internal group of GE Employees, along with Malaysian Nature Society, transplanted more than 270 plants from the Taman Tugu forest reserve so that they may be replanted in the forest trail which is under construction.


Educational initiatives

GE Healthcare is collaborating with The Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Medical University of South Carolina to offer an integrated radiology curriculum during their respective MD Programs led by investigators of the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in micro-gravity study. GE has donated over one million dollars of Logiq E Ultrasound equipment to these two institutions.


Marketing initiatives

Between September 2011 and April 2013, GE ran a content marketing campaign dedicated to telling the stories of "innovators—people who are reshaping the world through act or invention". The initiative included 30 3-minute films from leading documentary film directors (Albert and David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Jessica Yu, Leslie Iwerks, Steve James (producer), Steve James, Alex Gibney, Lixin Fan, Gary Hustwit and others), and a user-generated competition that received over 600 submissions, out of which 20 finalists were chosen. ''Short Films, Big Ideas'' was launched at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival in partnership with Morgan Spurlock, cinelan. Stories included breakthroughs in water treatment, Slingshot (water vapor distillation system), cancer research, energy production, pain management and food access. Each of the 30 films received world premiere screenings at a major international film festival, including the Sundance Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival. The winning amateur director film, ''The Cyborg Foundation'', was awarded a prize at the 2013 at Sundance Film Festival. According to GE, the campaign garnered more than 1.5 billion total media impressions, 14 million online views, and was seen in 156 countries. In January 2017, GE signed an estimated $7 million deal with the Boston Celtics to have its corporate logo put on the National Basketball Association, NBA team's jersey.


Political affiliation

In the 1950s, GE sponsored Ronald Reagan's General Electric Theater, TV career and launched him on the lecture circuit. GE has also designed social programs, supported civil rights organizations, and funds minority education programs.


Notable appearances in media

In the early 1950s, Kurt Vonnegut was a writer for GE. A number of his novels and stories (notably ''Cat's Cradle'' and ''Player Piano (novel), Player Piano'') refer to the fictional city of Ilium (Kurt Vonnegut), Ilium, which appears to be loosely based on Schenectady, New York. The Ilium Works is the setting for the short story "Deer in the Works". In 1981, GE won a Clio award for its :30 Soft White Light Bulbs commercial, We Bring Good Things to Life. The slogan "We Bring Good Things to Life" was created by Phil Dusenberry at the ad agency BBDO. GE was the primary focus of a 1991 short subject Academy Award-winning documentary, ''Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment'', that juxtaposed GE's "We Bring Good Things To Life" commercials with the true stories of workers and neighbors whose lives have been affected by the company's activities involving nuclear weapons. In 2013, GE received a National Jefferson Awards for Public Service, Jefferson Award for Outstanding Service by a Major Corporation.Jefferson Awards Announces Strategic Alliance with the NFL Player Engagement, Charles Fazzino and IvyConnect, While Celebrating 41 Years of Honoring Service to Others
. Prweb.com. Retrieved on August 16, 2013.


See also

* GE Technology Infrastructure * Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory * List of assets owned by General Electric * Phoebus cartel * Top 100 US Federal Contractors


References


Further reading

* Carlson, W. Bernard. ''Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric, 1870–1900'' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). * Woodbury, David O. ''Elihu Thomson, Beloved Scientist'' (Boston: Museum of Science, 1944) * Haney, John L. ''The Elihu Thomson Collection'' American Philosophical Society Yearbook 1944. * Hammond, John W. ''Men and Volts: The Story of General Electric'', published 1941, 436 pages. * Mill, John M. ''Men and Volts at War: The Story of General Electric in World War II'', published 1947. * Irmer, Thomas. ''Gerard Swope.'' In Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, vol. 4, edited by Jeffrey Fear. German Historical Institute.


External links

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