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General Electric

General Electric
General Electric or GE is the name of one of the world's largest corporations. Its full official name is "General Electric Company." The abbreviation GE is officially recognized by the company, is trademarked, is used in the names of its component businesses, its website, and its stock symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. It should not be confused with GEC, The General Electric Co. Ltd. As of 2003, with Microsoft's share price falling from the fallout from the tech stock boom, General Electric has regained its position as the company with the largest market capitalization in the world, and for the past 4 years has had the highest or second income (loosely thought of as profit) of any company in the world.

Employees (2000): 313,000. Revenue 2001: $126bn

Table of contents
1 History
2 Today
3 External link


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

In 1879 Elihu Thomson and E. J. Houston formed the rival Thomson-Houston 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 put them into 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 to form the General Electric Company, with its headquarters in Schenectady, New York.


GE is an enormous multinational industrial company engaged in a wide variety of markets including the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. GE is also involved in lighting, industrial automation, medical imaging equipment, motors, railway locomotives, military gatling guns, aircraft jet engines, aviation services and materials such as plastics, silicones and abrasives. It was co-founder and is the sole current owner of NBC, the National Broadcasting Company. As General Electric Capital Services it offers a range of financial services as well. It has a presence in over 100 countries.

The CEO from 1981-2001 was Jack Welch, who many regard as one of the premier business managers of his era. Nicknamed "Neutron Jack", he presided over a 28-fold increase in revenue with his policy (referred to by detractors as "rank and yank") of sacking the worst performing 10% of his staff every year. In running GE's many diverse businesses he maintained a policy of only keeping those businesses which were #1 or #2 within their respective industries.

See also the list of assets owned by General Electric.

External link

General Electric's website