General Electric

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General Electric Co.

<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; padding:16px 0 16px 0;">Image:GElogo.svg</td></tr>

Type Public (NYSE: GE)
Founded 1879
Headquarters Image:Flag of the United States.svg Fairfield, Connecticut, USA

<tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Key people</th><td>Jeff Immelt, Chairman & CEO
Sir William Castell,Vice Chairman
Mike Neal, Vice Chairman
Gary M. Reiner, CIO
John Rice, Vice Chairman
Keith Sherin,CFO
Robert Wright, Executive & Vice Chairman</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Industry</th><td>Conglomerate</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Products</th><td>aircraft jet engines
electricity
entertainment
finance
generation
industrial automation
lighting
medical imaging equipment
medical software
motors
plastics
railway locomotives
silicones</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Revenue</th><td>Image:Green Arrow Up.svg$149.702 billion USD (2005)</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Net income</th><td>Image:Green Arrow Up.svg$16.353 billion USD (2005)</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Employees</th><td>~315,000 (2004)</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Subsidiaries</th><td>GE Commercial Finance
GE Industrial
GE Infrastructure
GE Money
GE Healthcare
NBC Universal</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Slogan</th><td>Imagination at Work</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Website</th><td>www.ge.com</td></tr>

The General Electric Company, or GE (NYSE: GE) is a multinational American technology and services conglomerate incorporated in the State of New York.[1] According to the Forbes Global 2000 it is the world's second-largest company.

It is different from The General Electric Company plc, which was renamed Marconi plc in 1999.

In the 1960s, aspects of U.S. tax laws and accounting practices led to a rise in the assembly of conglomerates. GE, which was a conglomerate long before the term was coined, is arguably the most successful organization of this type.

Contents

[edit] History

In 1876, Thomas Alva Edison opened a new laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Out of the laboratory was to come arguably the most famous invention of all—a successful development of a practical incandescent electric lamp. By 1890, Edison had organized his various businesses into the Edison General Electric Company.

In 1879, Elihu Thomson and Edwin J. Houston formed the rival Thomson-Houston Electric Company. It merged with various companies and was later led by Charles A. Coffin, a former shoe manufacturer from Lynn, Massachusetts. Mergers with competitors and the patent rights owned by each company placed them in dominant positions in the electrical industry. As businesses expanded, it became increasingly difficult for either company to produce complete electrical installations relying solely on their own technology.

In 1892, these two major companies combined, in a merger arranged by financier J. P. Morgan, to form the General Electric Company, with its headquarters in Schenectady, New York.

In 1896, General Electric was one of the original 12 companies listed on the newly-formed Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE is the only one that still remains today.

In 1911 the National Electric Lamp Company (NELA) was dissolved and absorbed into General Electric's existing lighting business. At this time GE established its lighting division headquarters at Nela Park located in East Cleveland, Ohio. Nela Park was the first industrial park in the world, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and today still serves as the functional headquarters for GE's lighting business.

The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was founded by GE and American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) in 1919 to further international radio.

General Electric was one of the eight major computer companies through most of the 1960s - with IBM, the largest one, being called "Snow White" followed by the "Seven Dwarfs": Burroughs, NCR, Control Data Corporation, Honeywell, RCA, UNIVAC and GE itself. (There was also Scientific Data Systems, much smaller than the seven dwarfs). GE had an extensive line of general-purpose and special-purpose computers. Among them were the GE 200, GE 400, and GE 600 series general purpose computers, the GE 4010, GE 4020, and GE 4060 real time process control computers, and the Datanet 30 message switching computer. A Datanet 600 computer was designed, but never sold. It has been said that GE got into the computer manufacturing business because in the 1950s they were the largest user of computers outside of the United States federal government. In 1970 GE sold its computer division to Honeywell.

In 1986, GE re-acquired RCA, primarily for the NBC television network. The rest was sold to various companies, including Bertelsmann and Thomson.

In 2002, Francisco Partners and Norwest Venture Partners acquired a division of GE called GE Information Systems (GEIS). The new company, named GXS, is based in Gaithersburg, MD. GXS is a leading provider of B2B e-Commerce solutions. GE maintains a minority ownership position in GXS.

In 2004, GE bought the television and movie assets of Vivendi Universal and became the third largest media conglomerate in the world. The new company was named NBC Universal. Also in 2004, GE completed the spinoff of most of its life and mortgage insurance assets into an independent company, Genworth Financial, based in Richmond, Virginia.


For a complete list of acquisitions and divestitures, see General Electric timeline.

[edit] Today

GE is an enormous multinational conglomerate headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut. The company describes itself as composed of a number of primary business units or "businesses." Each "business" is itself a vast enterprise, many of which would, even as a standalone company, rank in the Fortune 500. The list of GE businesses varies over time as the result of acquisitions, divestitures and reorganizations. General Electric's tax return is the largest return filed in the United States, spanning approximately 24,000 pages when printed out. Electronically, the files were 237 megabytes. [2]

In 2005, GE launched its "Ecomagination" initiative in an attempt to position itself as a "green" company. Currently the company is one of the biggest players in the wind power industry and also developing new environment friendly products such as hybrid locomotives and photovoltaic cells.(citation required) The company has also set goals for its subsidiaries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. (citation required)

[edit] Controversy

GE has faced considerable controversy and legal battles relating to its business operations. This has included numerous legal proceedings relating to environmental pollution.

In 1983, New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams filed suit in Federal District Court 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.<ref>"G.E. Plant Accused of Water Pollution", The New York Times</ref>

In 1999, the company agreed to pay $250 million to the United States, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to resolve claims it polluted the Housatonic River with PCBs and other hazardous substances.<ref>Department of Justice news release</ref>

GE has also faced criminal action regarding its defense-related operations. GE was convicted in 1990 of defrauding the U.S. Department of Defense, and again in 1992 on charges of corrupt practices in the sale of weaponry to Israel.[3]

[edit] GE businesses

GE Organization Directory

Main article: List of assets owned by General Electric
  • GE Commercial Finance
    • Capital Solutions
    • Corporate Financial Services
    • Healthcare Financial Services
    • Insurance
    • Real Estate
  • GE Industrial
    • Advanced Materials
    • Consumer & Industrial
    • Equipment Services
    • GE Fanuc Automation
    • Inspection Technologies
    • Plastics
    • Security
    • Sensing
  • GE Infrastructure
    • Aviation
    • Aviation Financial Services
    • Energy
    • Energy Financial Services
    • Oil & Gas
    • Transportation Systems (Formerly GE Rail)
    • Water
  • GE Money also known as GE Consumer Finance<ref>GE Money's home page</ref>
  • GE Healthcare
  • NBC Universal
    • Network
    • Films
    • Television Stations
    • Entertainment Cable
    • Television Production
    • Sports/ Olympic Games
    • Theme Parks

Through these businesses, GE participates in a wide variety of markets including the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, lighting, industrial automation, medical imaging equipment, motors, railway locomotives, aircraft jet engines, aviation services and materials such as plastics, silicones and abrasives. It was co-founder and is 80% owner (with Vivendi Universal) of NBC Universal, the National Broadcasting Company. Through GE Commercial Finance, GE Consumer Finance, GE Equipment Services, and GE Insurance it offers a range of financial services as well. It has a presence in over 100 countries.

Over half of GE's revenue is derived from financial services, it is arguably a financial company with a manufacturing arm. It is also one of the largest lenders in countries other than the United States, such as Japan. Even though the first wave of conglomerates (such as ITT, Ling-Temco-Vought, Tenneco, etc) fell by the wayside by the mid-1980s, in the late 1990s, another wave (consisting of Westinghouse, Tyco, and others) tried and failed to emulate GE's success.

[edit] GE's brand

General Electric has one of the most valuable corporate brands in the world.<ref name="bw2005_top_brands">"Top 100 Global Brands Scoreboard." BusinessWeek.</ref> CEO Jeffrey Immelt had the new brand commissioned in 2004, after he took the reigns as chairman, in order to unify all the diversified businesses of GE. The brand included a change of the corporate color palette, small modifications to the GE Logo, a new customized font, called GE Inspira, and a new slogan, "imagination at work" replacing the longtime slogan "we bring good things to life". The new brand requires many headlines to be lowercased and adds visual "white space" to their documents and advertising to promote an open and approachable company. The new brand was designed by Wolff Olins and is used extensively on GE's marketing, literature, and corporate website.

[edit] Jeffrey R. Immelt

Born February 19, 1956, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jeff Immelt is the current chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Electric. He was selected by GE's Board of Directors in 2000 to replace John Francis Welch Jr. (Jack Welch) following his retirement.

Previously, Immelt had headed up GE's Medical Systems division (now known as GE Healthcare) as its President and CEO. He holds an A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Dartmouth College where he was President of his fraternity, Phi Delta Alpha, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He has been with GE since 1982 and is on the board of two non-profit organizations.

His tenure as Chairman and CEO started off at a time of crisis - he took over the role on September 7, 2001 - just four days before the terrorist attacks on the United States, which killed two employees and cost GE's insurance business $600 million, as well as having an obvious direct effect on the company's Aircraft Engines sector.

Mr. Immelt lives with his wife Andrea in New Canaan, Connecticut.

On March 15, 2005, it was announced that Immelt would be a commencement speaker at Northeastern University and that he would receive an honorary doctorate in Business Administration.

[edit] Corporate information

In 2004, GE was named number one company for employers and employees on the Forbes 500 Global Player list.

Jeffrey Immelt succeeded Jack Welch as CEO of General Electric and holds that office today. Current members of the board of directors of General Electric are: James Cash, Jr., Sir William Castell (Vice Chairman), Ann Fudge, Claudio Gonzalez, Jeffrey Immelt, Andrea Jung, A.G. Lafley, Robert Lane, Ralph Larsen, Rochelle Lazarus, Sam Nunn, Roger Penske, Robert Swieringa, Douglas Warner, and Bob Wright.

Over the years, GE has received several awards honoring them for their accomplishments, values and reputation:

  • In Fortune Magazine's 2005 "Global Most Admired Companies" list, GE ranked first overall. (February 2005)
  • In Fortune Magazine's 2006 "America's Most Admired Companies" list, GE ranked first overall. (March 2006)<ref>[4] Fortune Magazine - America's Most Admired Companies 2006</ref>
  • GE was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index as one of the world's leaders in environmental, social and economic programs.
  • GE ranked ninth on Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Desirable MBA Employers" list. (April 2004)

[edit] Superfund sites

General Electric has agreed to pay the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up three superfund sites contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The three superfund sites are composed of a 200 mile stretch along the Hudson River, a section of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and a transformer facility near Rome, Georgia.

[edit] Genpact

Genpact, a BPO company established in the 90's, was formerly known as GE Capital International Services (GECIS). GE hived off 60% stake in GENPACT to a consortium in 2004. GE is still a major client to Genpact getting its services in customer service, finance and analytics. Pramod Bhasin is the president and CEO of the current organization, Genpact.

[edit] Analyst coverage

See Yahoo! analyst coverage

[edit] Financials

[edit] See also

[edit] References

<references/>

[edit] External links

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General Electric

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