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General Electric

General Electric is also known as GE. It can be confused with GEC, The General Electric Co. Ltd.

Employees (2000): 313,000. Revenue 2001 (http://www.ge.com/annual01): $126bn


In 1876, Thomas Alva Edison opened a new laboratory in Menlo Park[?], New Jersey. Out of the laboratory was to come perhaps the greatest invention of all-a successful incandescent electric lamp.

By 1890, Edison had organized his various businesses into the Edison General Electric Company. The Thomson-Houston Company and the various companies that had merged to form it were led by Charles A. Coffin, a former shoe manufacturer from Lynn, Massachusetts. These mergers with competitors and the patent rights owned by each company put them into a dominant position in the electrical industry. As businesses expanded, it had become 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. 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 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.

External link

General Electric's website (http://www.ge.com)

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