General Electric Background

General Electric came into existence with the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Company, in 1892. Since that time General Electric has grown, through internal expansion and acquisitions, into one of the largest conglomerates of its type in the world. General Electric currently is involved with a multitude of industries some of which are aviation, energy, entertainment and oil.
General Electric was initially involved with energy and light and has since been a leading innovator in each field it has stepped into. The early areas of expertise include voice radio broadcasts that revolutionized communication, the electric toaster, resins and vacuum tubes. The vacuum tubes laid the foundation for the start of modern day electronics, while work with resins led to the discovery of many new forms of plastic. Following on that General Electric spread into the aviation industry with the introduction of the first supercharger and built the largest electrical installation at that time at Panama Canal.
While continuing to make ground breaking discoveries in science General Electric also opened a new Management Research and Development Institute in New York in 1956. Then when the first moon landing was successfully completed it was only with General Electric too being involved at the forefront of it all. GE continued to prosper and was able to earn more than $ 1billion in 1977.
The company at the start of the 1980s had a large 410,000 workforce. Cost productivity at General Electric was rising at the rate of 1% to 2% a year and the net income at the time was around $ 2billion a year. At that time that Welch took over at GE as top man there were 350 SBUs under General Electric’s umbrella. Although GE was growing at a steady rate and was a leading innovator in almost all fields of science, Welch still was not satisfied with the progress and demanded that it change for the better.