General Electric Company - Shareholder/Analyst Call

General Electric Company (GE)

April 25, 2012 10:00 am ET

Executives

Jeffrey R. Immelt - Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Member of Public Responsibilities Committee

Keith S. Sherin - Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer

Unknown Speaker -

Presentation

Jeffrey R. Immelt

Good morning. Take your seats, please. Welcome to GE's 2012 Annual Meeting. I'm Jeff Immelt, the Chairman of the Board. Please do not disrupt the meeting, sir. Please do not disrupt the meeting or we will ask you to leave. Mr. Taylor, could you please escort this man out, please? Could you please escort this man out, please?

Here with me today are Keith Sherin, GE's Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer; and Brackett Denniston, our General Counsel.

Each year, we have our annual meeting at a GE town that epitomizes what the company is about. This year, it's Detroit, and we're very proud to be here. Please do not disrupt the meeting or we will ask you to leave. Mr. Taylor, could you please ask these people to leave the meeting? Would you please ask these people to leave the meeting?

A few years ago, when GE was deciding where to open a new state-of-the-art information technology and research development facility, the Detroit area may have seemed like the most obvious choice. The recession hit Michigan particularly hard -- please show these people out. Thank you. I just want -- with that as a backdrop, I just want everybody in this room to know we like Detroit, okay? We are happy we're here. We're happy we brought jobs here, and we want you to know how committed we are to this region. And I want you to know that we are proud to be in Detroit today. So I want you to know that from the outset.

A few years ago, when GE was deciding where to open a new state-of-the-art information technology and research development facility, the Detroit area may not have seemed like the most obvious choice. The recession hit Michigan particularly hard. Many companies were leaving the area, and Michigan was not viewed as business-friendly.

The culture is the foundation of any successful enterprise, and we saw a cultural fit here. This community, like our employees, values work and understands the importance of advanced manufacturing to our future. This is home to world-class universities and professionals with deep knowledge in new technology, the kind of skills that allow us to win in the global marketplace.

In 2009, we announced GE's Advanced Manufacturing Software Center in Van Buren Township. We pledged 1,300 new jobs. Yesterday, we announced 300 jobs to fill the site to capacity. We'll have over 1,600 people at this site.

It's worth a second to talk about this center. This center was the home to Visteon. By 2009, it was empty. You all know how hard the automotive industry was hit during the recession. Now this site will be filled with talented Michigan people in a high-tech center who are ready to seize the future.

When other people were moving out of this great state, we were moving in. And when you add our other great employees in the state like our Aviation team in Grand Rapids, our total employment in Michigan is 3,800 people. We also have 4,000 retirees in Michigan.

GE is the world's biggest infrastructure company. Our team is delivering for our company, for our customers, for the community and for all of you. They're also delivering an important message. The fact is, to grow, we have to win around the world. But we can also do that by investing in the United States. And what we're doing here or, for that matter, in places like Louisville, Schenectady and Cincinnati, proves that United States and its workers can compete with anyone, and our employees in these places epitomize the very best. They show how GE is a company of teamwork. We listen to each other, we respect each other, we believe in each other. And we like to compete together, and we want to win. It's why GE works. It's why you could be proud of your company, and why your company is positioned for success.

Now to order of business. I'm advised that this meeting is properly convened, that we have a quorum and that the proposed resolutions set forth in the proxy statement are filed as part of these proceedings. We received proxies representing over 77% of the 10.6 billion outstanding shares eligible to vote. The management proxy committee has voted these shares in accordance with shareowner's wishes.

It's now my privilege to introduce the members of your Board of Directors who are with us today. I'm going to ask each director to stand briefly as I introduce them, so you can see who they are.

Sandy Warner, former Chairman of the Board of JPMorgan. Sandy's Chairman of the Audit Committee. Roger Penske, Chairman of the Board, Penske Corporation; Sam Nunn, 4-term senator from Georgia, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Sam is Chairman of our public responsibilities commission. Dr. Jim Cash, James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, a Harvard Graduate School of Business; Andrea Jung, Chairman of the Board of Avon; Ann Fudge, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Young & Rubicam; Shelly Lazarus, Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy & Mather. Shelly is Chairman of the Nominating, Corporate Governance Committee. Ralph Larsen, former Chairman of J&J. Ralph is Presiding Director and Chairman of the Management Development Compensation Committee. A. G. Lafley, former Chairman of the Board, President, Procter & Gamble; Bob Swieringa, Professor of Accounting and former Dean, Johnson Graduate School of Business, Cornell; Susan Hockfield, President of MIT; Jim Mulva, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ConocoPhillips; Geoff Beattie, President and CEO, The Woodbridge Company. Mr. Beattie is Chairman of the Risk Committee. And James Tisch, President, Chief Executive Officer, Loews Corporation.

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