GE’s revenues from clean technology products continue to grow, but financial problems in other sectors continue to hamper the company
General Electric, the US conglomerate perennially considered a Rock of Gibraltar for investors, had a disappointing first quarter that took its shareholders, and apparently even its chief executive, Jeff Immelt, by surprise. After GE had promised 10 per cent profits growth in 2008, it reported a 6 per cent fall in first-quarter profits, triggering a sell-off that wiped more than $46 billion from GE’s market capitalisation.
Since the dismal earnings report, Immelt has been pummelled by critics on everything from investments in China and Japan and his own leadership abilities to the very essence of GE’s longstanding business model.
Although he later backpedalled, even former GE chief executive Jack Welch argued that Immelt had lost credibility. Welch went as far as to say he would “get a gun out and shoot him” if Immelt reported similar results again.
Despite the heat Immelt has taken, he seems confident in his vision of GE’s future. The company’s clean technology business, Immelt’s most visible mark on GE, is one of its best performing....MORE