General Electric (GE) Success Story

Name : General Electric (GE)
Founded : 1892
Founder : Thomas Edison,
Charles Coffin,
Elihu Thomson,
Edwin J. Houston
CEO : Jeffrey Robert Immelt
Industry : Technology
Sector : Public
Country : USA
Website :

General Electric (GE) is an American multinational corporation operating in sectors like Consumer capital finance, Energy, Technology Infrastructure and Industrial finance. Headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, USA. GE is one of the largest and most influential business firms across the globe. In terms of gross revenue, GE is listed as the 26th Largest Business Organization according to Fortune 500. With a unique business operation and customer satisfaction, GE has its name included among the top rankers in the surveys of different reputes.


Founded in 1892 through a merger of Edison General Electric Company, Schenectady and Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, Massachusetts, GE had its headquartered based in Connecticut, US while both the operating plants were based in New York.

Initially Schenectady was used as the company forefront headquarters until the Canadian peer of GE was formed.


ge founders

Charles Coffin (left) and Thomas Alva Edison (right)

Thomas Alva Edison and his peer Charles Coffin worked in neighbouring states to acquire several key patents in electric companies in the years preceeding the merger of these two megaminds to form their Brainchild GE. 

Both of GE's ancestors while operating independently acquired numerous small and medium sized companies in the late 80's. Upon the merger and the acquisition of its predecessor that led to the establishment of General Electric in 1892 it has being called as the Conglomerate Multinational henceforth.

Early Years

During the initial quarter of their establishment, GE was more inclined toward computer manufacturing industry. Its general purpose computer series GE 200, GE 400, and GE 600 and GE 4010, GE 4020, and GE 4060 real time process control computers were quite a hit during that time. However, due to the lack of the technical aspect available, GE sold its computer manufacturing unit to Honeywell in 1970, thereby exiting the computer industry. During that phase, GE operated its computer manufacturing division under the name General Electric Information Services (GEIS).

During their operational run, GE acquired numerous companies along the way. In the late 90's the significant acquisitions were RCA for NBC Television Network and Kidder, Peabody & Co., a security firm in 1986.

Recent Years

With the onset of the 21st century, GE acquired manufacturing unit of Enron Wind in 2002 that gave rise to GE Wind Energy. A few years later, GE bought 80% of Universal Pictures from Vivendi.

In 2007 GE acquired Smiths Aerospace and Vetco Gray and a year later in 2008, the acquisition of Hydril Pressure & Control for a hefty $1.12 billion was done. GE's recent acquisition includes Dresser Inc., manufacturer of gas engines and Opal Software, data migration specialist in the year 2010 and Lineage Power Holdings, Inc. in 2011.

general electric headquarters fairfield

During the course of their acquisition, GE also signed various strategic partnerships and sold some of its assets as well. In 2002, Francisco Partners and Norwest Venture Partners bought a division of GEIS that gave rise to a new establishment under the banner GXS, while in 2008 Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) acquired GE Plastics.

In the current fiscal year, the acquisition of the Alstom Global Power Division is still under way pertaining to the submission of rival bid by Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Very recently, GE collaborated with Quirky, a design establishment to launch its LED bulb, LINK. The bulb is designed in such a way so as to integrate with smartphones and tabs using the app Wink.

Chairman and CEO

jeffrey immelt

Jeffrey Immelt is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of GE. He was selected by GE's Board of Directors in 2000 to replace Jack Welch following his retirement. Previously, Immelt had headed GE's Medical Systems division (now GE Healthcare) as its President and CEO.

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


Till 2016, GE had it's headquarters in Fairfield, CT. Its main offices are located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza at Rockefeller Center in 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.

On January 13, 2016, it was announced that GE will be moving its corporate headquarters to the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

Some of the employees will arrive in the summer of 2016, and the full move will be completed by 2018.

Key Products

  • Aircraft engines
  • Electrical distribution
  • Electric motors
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Gas
  • Healthcare
  • Lighting
  • Locomotives
  • Oil
  • Software
  • Water
  • Weapons
  • Wind turbines


General Electric operates its business through its various divisions including GE Healthcare, GE Home & Business Solutions, GE Transportation, GE Oil & Gas, GE Aviation, GE Power & Water and GE Capital. Besides being a giant in different sectors ranging from energy to electrical, GE has collaborated with different academic institutions to implement technical and professionally sound academic curriculum. Its collaborators include Medical University of South Carolina and The Wayne State University School of Medicine. These curriculums are primarily integrated with the GE Healthcare division.

With a head count of over 3 million employees and revenue generation $ 146.045 billion as of 2013, GE leads the arena of global energy and electrical industry.

Acquisitions, Milestones and Achievements

  • In 1986, GE reacquired RCA, primarily for the NBC television network (also parent of Telemundo Communications Group). The remainder was sold to various companies, including Bertelsmann (Bertelsmann acquired RCA Records) and Thomson SA 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 in 1994.
  • 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 inGaithersburg, Maryland. GXS is a provider of B2B e-Commerce solutions. GE maintains a minority stake in GXS.
  • Also in 2002, GE Wind Energy was formed when GE bought the wind turbine manufacturing assets of Enron Wind after the Enron scandals.
  • In 2004, GE bought 80% of Universal Pictures from Vivendi. Vivendi bought 20% of NBC forming the company NBCUniversal. GE then owned 80% of NBC Universal and Vivendi owned 20%. By January 28, 2011 GE owned 49% and Comcast 51%. On March 19, 2013, Comcast bought GE's shares in NBCU for $16.7 billion.
  • In 2004, GE completed the spin-off of most of its mortgage and life insurance assets into an independent company, Genworth Financial, based in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Genpact 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 getting its services in customer service, finance, information technology and analytics.
  • In May 2007, GE acquired Smiths Aerospace for $4.8 billion.
  • In 2007, GE Oil & Gas acquired Vetco Gray for $1.9 billion, followed by the acquisition of Hydril Pressure & Control in 2008 for $1.12 billion.
  • GE Plastics was sold in 2008 to SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation). In May 2008, GE announced it was exploring options for divesting the bulk of its consumer and industrial business.
  • General Electric's Schenectady, New York facilities (including GE's original headquarters) are assigned the ZIP code 12345. (All Schenectady ZIP codes begin with 123, but no others begin with 1234.)
  • On December 3, 2009, it was announced that NBCUniversal will become a joint venture between GE and cable television operator Comcast. The cable giant will hold a controlling interest in the company, while GE retains a 49% stake and will buy out shares owned by Vivendi.
  • Vivendi will sell its 20% stake in NBCUniversal to GE for US$5.8 billion. Vivendi will sell 7.66% of NBCUniversal to GE for US$2 billion if the GE/Comcast deal is 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 is completed or to the public via an IPO if the deal is not completed.
  • On March 1, 2010, General Electric (GE) announced that the company is planning 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 to the hospital market.
  • In October 2010, General Electric acquired gas engines manufacture Dresser Inc. for a $3 billion deal and also bought a $1.6 billion portfolio of retail credit cards from CitigroupInc.
  • On October 14, 2010, GE announced the acquisition of data migration & SCADA simulation specialists Opal Software.
  • In December 2010, for the second time this year (after Dresser acquisition), General Electric Co. bought the oil sector company British Wellstream Holding Plc. an oil pipe maker for 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion).
  • In March 2011, GE announced it has 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. This acquisition expands the extensive drilling and surface manufacturing and services portfolio of GE Oil and Gas, a division of GE Energy.
  • GE Capital sold its $2 billion Mexican assets to Santander for $162 million and exit the business in Mexico. Santander will additionally assume the portfolio debts of GE Capital in the country. The transaction was finished in 2011. GE Capital will focus in the core business and will shed its non-core assets.
  • In June 2012, CEO and President of GE said that the company would invest 3 billion to accelerate its businesses in Karnataka.
  • In October 2012, General Electric Company acquired $7 billion worth of bank deposits from Metlife Inc.
  • In April 2013, General Electric Co acquired oilfield pump maker Lufkin Industries 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 for a figure of around $13 billion. A rival joint bid was submitted in June 2014 by Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (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 banking business Bank BPH.
  • In April 2015, GE announced its intention to sell off its property portfolio, worth $26.5 billion, to Wells Fargo and The Blackstone Group.
  • It was announced in April 2015 that General Electric 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's GE Capital agreed to sell its Healthcare Financial Services business to Capital One Financial for USD $9-billion. The transaction involves USD $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 Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the sale includes USD $8-billion of on-line deposits and another USD $8-billion of brokered certificates of deposit. The sale is part of GE's strategic plan to exit the U.S. banking sector and to free itself from tightening banking regulations. GE also aims 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 unit sold has USD $8.7-billion (CAD $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's fund Trian bought a $2.5 billion stake in the company.

History of General Electric

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