General Electric: From Edison’s Light Bulb to a Supercompany
In 1892, General Electric (GE) was formed by the merger of two companies, one of which belonged to Thomas Edison. Initially, the company concentrated on producing incandescent light bulbs due to Edison’s main invention. However, in accordance with the Sherman Antitrust Act, the company’s dominance in the production of light bulbs ended in 1949. After about a quarter-century of operation, Jack Welch was appointed CEO of the company in 1981. GE’s golden period was under his leadership, and he broadened the company’s activities to include power generation and transmission equipment, aviation, household appliances, medical equipment, and computer hardware. Under Welch’s leadership, the company grew to become the most profitable in the United States in 1994, earning $ 6 billion. He believed that in business, you should either be the best or quit. That is why he sold 232 of the company’s businesses and increased the company’s income from $26 billion in his first year of management to $130 billion in 2000, equaling a market value of $400 billion. Among his successful investments was the company he managed, which owned 338 new businesses valued at $11 billion. In 2017, the company was ranked 12th among the world’s most valuable brands.