Timeline of General Electric

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

General Electric has a long history, involving numerous mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.


Date Event
1876 Thomas Edison opens a new laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, USA
1882 Thomson-Houston Electric Company formed by Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston,[1][2] later moving from New Britain, Connecticut, to Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1883.[3]
1890 Four companies (Edison Lamp Company, Edison Machine Works, and Bergmann & Company with the patent-holding company, Edison Electric Light Company) in various Tri-state area locations holding Edison's various interests merge as Edison General Electric Company
1890 Edison General Electric Company acquires the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company.
1893 Edison sells his shares in General Electric[4]
GE timeline
Date Event
1892 Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston merge to become The General Electric Company, with Charles A. Coffin as first president, with headquarters in Schenectady, New York (later moved to New York City).
1893 Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston, a sister company to General Electric which would become Thomson SA, formed in Paris
1894 British Thomson-Houston, a subsidiary, formed in Rugby, Warwickshire, England
1896 General Electric made a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
1905 The Electric Bond and Share Co., the forerunner of GE Commercial Finance is formed, with the goal of providing financing to small utility companies[5]
1911 National Electric Lamp Association (NELA) is absorbed into General Electric's existing lighting business and GE establishes its lighting division headquarters at Nela Park, the world's first industrial park, in East Cleveland, Ohio
1912 General Electric begins using phenolic resins to mold plastic parts[5]
1913 Charles A. Coffin becomes the first Chairman of General Electric
1913 Edwin Rice becomes President, replacing Charles A. Coffin
1917 General Electric acquires synchronous electric clock manufacturer Telechron
1918 Trumbull Electric Company, headquartered in Plainville, Connecticut, is acquired. Trumbull Electric Manufactory Co. produced electrical supply parts including porcelain fixtures, switchboards and panels.[6]
1919 Radio Corporation of America (RCA) formed by General Electric and American Telephone & Telegraph
1922 Owen Young becomes chairman, replacing Charles A. Coffin
1930 General Electric creates its Plastics Department to research and produce advanced plastics[5]
1932 GE Credit Corporation, which evolves into GE Consumer Finance, is founded to allow families to purchase General Electric appliances on credit[5]
1935 General Electric markets the first electric garbage disposal, the Disposall[5] (disputed by InSinkErator)
1940 Philip D. Reed replaces Owen Young as Chairman
1942 Owen Young returns as chairman, replacing Philip D. Reed
1942 General Electric develops the first American jet engine
1945 Philip D. Reed becomes chairman, replacing Owen Young
1945 General Electric acquires Ken-Rad Tube Manufacturing Corporation, headquartered in Owensboro, Kentucky, and designates the Ken-Rad's plants located in Owensboro and Bowling Green, Kentucky, Tell City and Huntingburg, Indiana, as its primary vacuum tube manufacturing facilities[7]
1949 GE Armament Division test-fires the M61 Vulcan rotary cannon


Date Event
1953 Lexan accidentally developed by a GE Plastics scientist while searching for a new wire coating[5]
1955 GE Research Laboratory announces the ability to create the first artificial diamonds, primarily for industrial use[5]
1958 Ralph J. Cordiner becomes Chairman & CEO, replacing Philip D. Reed
1962 General Electric scientist Robert N. Hall invents the solid state laser[5]
1963 Gerald L. Phillippe becomes chairman, replacing Ralph J. Cordiner
1964 General Electric sponsors Carousel of Progress at the 1964 New York World's Fair and continues sponsorship after it is moved to Disneyland from 1967 to 1973, then to Magic Kingdom (1975–1985)
1967 Fred J. Borch becomes Chairman & CEO, replacing Gerald L. Phillippe
1970 Computer systems division sold to Honeywell
1971 CFM International is formed with partner SNECMA for the purpose of producing medium-sized civil turbofan[5]
1972 Reginald Jones becomes chairman and CEO, replacing Fred J. Borch
1974 GE moves its headquarters to Fairfield, Connecticut, from New York City.
1981 Jack Welch whose management style would leave a lasting effect upon General Electric and corporate America, replaces Reginald Jones as CEO
1982 CFM International's CFM56 is introduced; The CFM56 would go on to dominate the engine market for short haul airliner[5]
1983 General Electric begins sponsoring Horizons at EPCOT Center which ends in 1993
1984 GE spins off its commercial computer graphics products and services Genigraphics Operation to the Genigraphics Corporation
1984 GE acquires Employers Reinsurance Corporation for $1 billion[8]
1985 GEnie, one of the pioneering online services, was developed using extra processor cycles on General Electric Information Services mainframes
1986 General Electric re-acquires RCA, primarily for the NBC television network and sells the remaining components to Thomson—along with General Electric's consumer electronics division— and Bertelsmann. GE also acquired Kidder-Peabody as part of GE Capital.[9] The company starts sponsoring The McLaughlin Group, which lasted 16 years.[10][11]
1987 GE closed down air conditioner plant in Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky and sold their room air conditioner and rotary compressor plant in Columbia, Tennessee, to Fedders. GE also sold the residential and commercial air conditioner plant in Tyler, Texas to Trane.
1988 General Electric begins sponsorship of IllumiNations, a series of fireworks displays, at EPCOT Center which continues until 1998
1989 The Consumer News and Business Channel, or CNBC, is formed to provide business news to cable television subscribers[5]
1992 GE Power controls acquires the company Agut S.A in Spain.[12]
1993 GE Aerospace Division sold to Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin
1996 MSNBC is formed with partner Microsoft, to compete with the Cable News Network[5]
1996 GEnie is sold to Yovelle, now part of IDT Corp.
1996 General Electric sponsors the Main Street Electrical Parade for the farewell season at Disneyland
1999 Harkening back to the Easy-Bake Oven, General Electric introduces the Advantium oven, which uses halogen lights to cook food[5]
1999 Montgomery Ward exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and becomes a subsidiary of GE Capital, a major creditor

2000 and beyond

Date Event
2000 Montgomery Ward folded by GE Capital due to declining sales
2001 General Electric and Honeywell agree to merge, however it is blocked by European Union M&A chief Mario Monti.[13]
2001 Jeffrey Immelt becomes CEO, replacing Jack Welch
2001 NBC acquires Telemundo, one of the leading Spanish language television networks
2002 GE stops sponsoring the public television program The McLaughlin Group after 16 years.[11]
2002 The finance committee of the board is dissolved[8]
2003 GE Healthcare acquires Instrumentarium.[14]
2003 GE Capital acquires Transamerica Finance from AEGON, who retained the rest of Transamerica Corporation
2004 NBC acquires the entertainment assets of Vivendi Universal, excluding Universal Music and forms NBC Universal, of which General Electric owns 80%
2004 GE Healthcare acquires Amersham plc
2004 GE Capital acquires Dillard's credit card unit for US$1.25 billion
2004 GE sells 60% stake in GE Capital International Services (GECIS) to private equity companies, Oak Hill Capital Partners and General Atlantic, for $500 million
2004 Genworth Financial formed from General Electric's life and mortgage insurance assets
2004 GE Security acquires InVision Technologies, a leading manufacturer of airport security equipment.[15] On July 1, 2009, the European Union approves the sale of 81 percent of GE's airport security and biometrics division to French company Safran.[16]
2005 GE Commercial Finance acquires the financial assets of Bombardier, a Canadian aircraft manufacturer for US$1.4 billion[17]
2006 GE Healthcare acquires IDX Systems, a medical software firm, for US$1.2 billion
2006 GE Advanced Materials division is sold to Apollo Management for US$3.8 billion
2006 GE Water & Process Technologies acquires Zenon Environmental Systems for $758 million
2006 GE Money buys Superbank's $500 million lending portfolio[18]
2007 GE Consumer & Industrial acquires Microwave Data Systems for US$600 million
2007 GE-Aviation acquires Smiths Aerospace for £2.4 billion
2007 GE Oil & Gas acquires Vetco Gray for US$1.9 billion.[19][20]
2007 GE Plastics is sold to SABIC for US$11.6 billion.[21]
2008 GE Oil & Gas acquires Hydril Pressure & Control for US$1.12 billion from Tenaris, who retains possession of Hydril Premium Connections.[22][23]
2008 GE Co. acquires Vital Signs Inc. for US$860 million[24]
2009 GE buys Vivendi's stake in NBC Universal and sell a controlling interest of the company to Comcast, with GE retaining a 49 percent interest in the joint venture[25]
2009 GE acquires Norway-based turbine manufacturer ScanWind.[26]
2010 GE enters negotiations with Comcast Corporation to sell the NBC Universal unit; Clearance by the FCC and US Attorney General are required
2011 GE completes sale of NBC Universal with Comcast. GE still owns 49% of The Venture
2013 GE sells the remaining part of NBC Universal to Comcast.
2013 GE sells Vital Signs division Carefusion for 500M USD.
2014 GE agreed to sell their appliance business to Electrolux[27] but the deal was not completed.[28]
2015 Due to antitrust issues, GE cancels the appliance business deal with Electrolux after strong oppositions from antitrust regulators [29]
2015 GE completes Alstom Power acquisition.
2016 GE agreed to sell its appliance business to Qingdao Haier for $5.4 billion including the 48.4% of shares it held in Mabe, a Mexican appliance maker [30]
2016 GE acquires ShipExpress [31]
2016 General Electric moved their global headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut, to the South Boston Waterfront in August 2016.[32]
2016 GE Digital acquires ServiceMax [33]
2017 GE acquires Baker Hughes and merges it with GE Oil and Gas to form Baker Hughes a GE Company.[34]
2018 S&P Dow Jones Indices announces that another company will replace General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) effective prior to the open of trading on June 26.[35]
2019 GE sells GE Transportation to Wabtec and terminates ownership of former said company after 112 years of ownership.
2021 GE announces split of company into three separate concerns—GE HealthCare, GE Vernova, and GE Aerospace—with the healthcare and energy (Vernova) divisions being spun off and the company pivoting to aviation by rebranding as GE Aerospace.[36][37]
2023 GE completes spin-off of GE HealthCare[37]
2024 GE completes spin-off of GE Vernova. The company is now known as GE Aerospace and ceases to exist as a conglomerate, the General Electric Company name retired after 130 years.[36][37]


  1. ^ Gifford, Jonathan (September 15, 2013). 100 Great Business Leaders: Of the world's most admired companies. Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd. pp. 34–35. ISBN 9789814484688.
  2. ^ "Elihu Thomson Papers, 1853-1955". Smithsonian Institution. July 23, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2019. in 1882, founded one of the early electrical corporations in the United States, the Thomson-Houston Company
  3. ^ "Elihu Thomson Papers". Retrieved October 19, 2019. ...formed the Thomson-Houston Company in 1882. In 1883, the Thomson-Houston works moved to Lynn, Massachusetts... Elihu Thomson Papers at the American Philosophical Society
  4. ^ Levenson, Michael (May 28, 2020). "G.E., Which Traces Its Roots to Thomas Edison, Sells Its Lighting Business". New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m General Electric official history
  6. ^ Trumbull Electric Manufacturing Company, Woodford Avenue, Plainville. :: Connecticut History Online
  7. ^ Hugh O. Potter's History of Owensboro and Daviess County, Kentucky, pp. 126, published 1974, Herff Jones-Paragon Publishing, Montgomery, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky
  8. ^ a b Gryta, Thomas; Mann, Ted (2021). Lights out: pride, delusion, and the fall of General Electric. Boston New York: Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 63, 69. ISBN 978-0-358-25041-8.
  9. ^ Behr, Peter (April 25, 1986). "GE to Acquire Control Of Broker Kidder, Peabody". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 12, 2023.
  10. ^ "GE renewal" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 22, 1986. p. 82. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  11. ^ a b McClellanpublished, Steve (June 28, 2004). "Changing of the Guard". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved September 18, 2023.
  12. ^ "General Electric cierra en el Bages". Expansion. March 16, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  13. ^ "EU kills GE-Honeywell". CNN Money. July 3, 2001. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  14. ^ "General Electric and Instrumentarium Enter Into Combination Agreement — GE Offers EUR 2 Billion to Acquire Instrumentarium". PRNewswire. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  15. ^ "GENERAL ELECTRIC AGREES TO ACQUIRE INVISIO N" (PDF). GE. March 15, 2004. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  16. ^ Reuters (July 2, 2009)
  17. ^ "Bombardier Sells Finance Unit to General Electric for $1.4 Bln." Gunsalus, J. Bloomberg.
  18. ^ "GE Money buys out Superbank - Business News". The New Zealand Herald. August 4, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  19. ^ "General Electric to acquire Vetco Gray for $1.9 billion". ReliablePlant.com. January 8, 2007. Archived from the original on July 6, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  20. ^ "GE Oil & Gas buys Vetco Gray". E&P Magazine. January 8, 2007. Archived from the original on May 28, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  21. ^ "GE to sell plastics unit to Sabic for $11.6 billion". MarketWatch. May 21, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  22. ^ Saitto, Serena; Kingsbury, Kevin (January 28, 2008). "From Tenaris". MarketWatch.com — The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  23. ^ "GE Oil & Gas Buys Hydril Pressure Control". January 29, 2008. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  24. ^ "Vital Signs to be acquired for $860 million". Chicago Tribune. July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
  25. ^ "GE, Comcast announce NBC Universal joint venture deal" David Goldman and Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com (December 3, 2009)
  26. ^ GE Grabs Gearless Wind Turbines
  27. ^ "GE unloads appliance division to Sweden's Electrolux". USA Today. September 8, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  28. ^ "Acquisition of GE Appliances not to be completed" (Press release). Stockholm, Sweden: AB Electrolux. December 7, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  29. ^ "GE calls off Electrolux appliance deal amid U.S. antitrust fight". Reuters. December 7, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  30. ^ "G.E. to Sell Appliance Division to Haier for $5.4 Billion". The New York Times. January 15, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  31. ^ "G.E. to Sell Appliance Division to Haier for $5.4 Billion". The New York Times. January 15, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  32. ^ Chesto, Jon (January 30, 2017). "GE adds to the size of its future South Boston campus". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  33. ^ "GE Digital Acquires ServiceMax to Extend Predix and Analytics Across Field Service Processes". ServiceMax. November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  34. ^ "GE, Baker Hughes complete merger". July 3, 2017.
  35. ^ press release (June 19, 2018, pdf)
  36. ^ a b Chesto, Jon (April 1, 2024). "GE's long life as giant industrial conglomerate enters new era, as company splits up on Tuesday". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on April 1, 2024.
  37. ^ a b c Mazein, Elodie (April 1, 2024). "Swan song for General Electric as it completes demerger". AFP. Archived from the original on April 2, 2024 – via Yahoo! News. The official finalization of the separation comes Tuesday, with General Electric disappearing in favor of GE Vernova, dealing with energy activities, and GE Aerospace, the new name of the late GE.