Corporate Governance at General Electric

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Case Details:

Case Code : CGOX006
Case Length : 10 Pages
Period : 2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : General Electric
Industry : Services manufacturing
Countries : Global, US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Sound principles of corporate governance are critical to obtaining and retaining the trust of investors -- and to achieving GE's overarching goal of performance with integrity. They are also vital in securing respect from other key stakeholders and interested parties -- including employees, recruits, customers, suppliers, GE communities, government officials and the public at large.

- Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric1


General Electric (GE), the world's second most admired company2, ranked fifth in Fortune 500 list of companies in 2002.

It operated a diverse range of businesses covering aircraft engines, power generation, financial services, medical imaging, television programming and plastics.

GE's sales had risen from $60 billion in 1993 to $131 billion in 20023.

GE had established various principles with regard to corporate governance and put in place various systems and processes to implement them.

Background Note

GE was established in 1892 in New York, following a merger between Thomson-Houston and Edison General Electric. GE's financial strength and its research focus contributed to its initial success. In the 1920s, GE joined AT&T and Westinghouse in a radio broadcasting venture.

The company acquired Radio Corporation of America (RCA), but sold off its stake in 1930. In the 1940s, GE faced major industrial relations problems due to the increasing clout of labor unions.

In the 1950s, GE streamlined its management practices by establishing various management techniques like MBO, SWOT analysis and strategic planning.

In the 1960s, the company entered into new businesses like nuclear power and aircraft engines to increase growth. In the 1970s, GE accelerated its shift from electromechanical to electronic technology...

 Excerpts >>


2] "The World's most admired companies," Fortune, 3rd March 2003.



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