General Electric

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General Electric

Also known as GE. Can be confused with GEC - The General Electric Co. Ltd.

Employees (2000): 313,000. Revenue (2000): $130bn

An enormous multinational industrial company engaged in a wide variety of markets for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Also involved in lighting, industrial automation, medical imaging equipment, motors, locomotives, 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 is often held up as one of the premier business managers of modern economic times. 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.