What he has built is a global industrial concern, with 55% of revenue coming from outside the U.S., direct contacts with governments around the world, and with huge stakes in the key problems of that world: global health, the energy crisis and the automation of employment.
That's the context for Immelt's successful Alstom bid, of which our Richard Saintvilus approves, under which the company will launch three joint ventures partly owned by the French government and take over Alstom's turbine business.
GE's main units are energy management, dealing with electrical grids; oil and gas, focused on infrastructure rather than production; and power and water, where Alstom's turbine business will sit alongside its renewable energy and water purification units. Investors who have steadily reinvested their dividends since Immelt replaced Jack Welch in September 2001, right before the 9/11 attacks, are just about breaking even. The stock is down 33%, but what you buy today has nothing to do with what you owned then.
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