Learn more about Pete Peterson-funded astroturf projects at the Fix the Debt Portal.
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
Learn more about the threat drilling for methane gas poses to fresh water.
|Company Name||General Electric|
|CEO Name||Jeffrey Immelt|
|CEO Retirement Assets||$53,301,387|
|Underfunded Company Pension||-$21,756,000,000|
|Annual Company Revenue||$147,300,000,000|
|Tax Dodger ('08-'10)||-45.3%|
|Territorial Tax Break||$35,700,000,000|
|Federal Lobbying/Political Donations ('09-'12*)||$107,770,000|
|Click here for sources.
2011 data unless otherwise noted.
©2013 Center for Media and Democracy
General Electric (GE) is one of the world's largest corporations and is a major manufacturer of products from "jet engines to power generation, financial services to plastics, and medical imaging to news and information."  The company has more than 95 subsidiaries including GE Healthcare, GE Plastics, GE Security, General Electric Capital Corporation, NBC, MSNBC, Bravo, SCI FI Channel, USA Network, and Universal Studios.
In 2011, GE reported $147,300,000,000
Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem."
This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.
|About Fix the Debt|
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Paying More for Lobbying than in Taxes
In December 2011, the organization Public Campaign published a report called "For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?" on corporations that have paid more on lobbying than on federal taxes. General Electric topped the list, with $10,460 million in profits from 2008-2010, a net gain of $4,737 million in taxes (after receiving tax rebates) and a total expenditure of $84.35 million on lobbying.
PR and lobbying industry cleans up, Hudson River loses out
From 1990 to 2005, General Electric spent more than $122 million on public relations, lobbying and legal efforts "to fight demands that it clean up three contaminated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) sites," reports O'Dwyer's. The three sites are "a 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River (the nation's biggest Superfund site), Housatonic River (Pittsfield, MA) and a transformer facility (Rome, GA)." 
GE's disclosure came after a decade of pressure from the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, a coalition of Roman Catholic groups that filed shareholder resolutions requesting the information. Coalition director Patricia Daly said the money could "have gone a long, long way in cleaning up the problem," had it not been "wasted on PR, lobbying and courtroom delaying tactics." The Environmental Protection Agency ordered GE to clean up the Hudson in 2002.
"In October 2005, more than 20 years after the EPA designated the Hudson River among the worst Superfund sites, GE agreed in a settlement to begin dredging the river. The EPA estimated that dredging the toxic sediment would cost $700 million by the time the project was complete. But the agreement obligates GE for costs only in the first year, which could allow the company to avoid $600 million in cleanup costs, according to Leo Rosales, who was an EPA spokesman at the time".
Tobacco industry involvement
General Electric worked with Philip Morris circa 1984-1985 to provide a power source for a confidential non-combusting smoking article "that can satisfy smokers without the properties of conventional cigarettes such as sidestream smoke. Philip Morris was interested in using "photoflash bulbs" as heat or power sources for these experimental smoking articles, and obtained these from GE.The project was known internally at Philip Morris as Project Advance.
The nonprofit economic research organization, Policy Matters Ohio, interviewed workers in 2007 in one of GE's Chinese suppliers and published a report of their findings in 2008. Xiamen Topstar Lighting Co., a joint venture of GE and China's Topstar, employs 6,000 people in Fujian Province making compact (and energy efficient) florescent lightbulbs for GE. Policy Matters Ohio investigators found a range of unfair and unsafe labor practices, including 64-hour workweeks without overtime pay or worker access to their own paystubs. They also found that workers were being exposed to mercury without their knowledge.
GE Energy Financial Services, GE's energy investing arm, owns 51.5% of the coal-fired Birchwood Power Facility near King George, Virginia. J-POWER acquired a 49.5% stake in the 242-megawatt power plant in May 2008.
GE invests in China IGCC project
On January 18, 2011, GE announced that it would be forming a "clean coal" technology joint venture in China with the Shenhua Group, a state-owned coal mining and energy company. The joint venture company will sell industrial coal gasification technology licenses, conduct research and development and develop facilities around integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC). GE plans to announce over $2 billion in locomotives and other deals in China, as GE’s sales to China are growing at 20 percent a year. Khosla Ventures recently invested in clean coal startup Ciris Energy — which GE also backs.
GE Energy pushes coal gasification and exports to China
In September 2011 Keith White, director of GE Energy’s coal gasification business stated, "We make a majority of our money in China today. They use their coal for quality high-end products." White said that businesses should continue their support of coal-gasification and keep in mind the need to expand to additional markets like plastics and other refined products. He noted that a high volume of coal in China is refined into liquid byproducts "such as naphtha, and other products that are the feedstock of plastics and the Chinese garment industry."
See the related article, General Electric's Ecomagination Campaign.
Ad boycott against Air America Radio
General Electric refused to advertise on the progressive Air America Radio. In October 2006, around 90 companies, including General Electric, told ABC Radio Networks that they did not want their ads to play on any radio station that carried Air America Radio.   
A report by Public Campaign revealed that between 2008 and 2010, General electric spent $84.35 million on lobbying. During the same time period, it received $4.373 billion in tax rebates, and made $10.46 billion in US profits, meaning that GE's tax rate was -45%. Executive compensation also jumped 27%, from $59,768,565 in 2008 to $75,958,80 in 2010. In addition, between 2009 and 2011, GE spent $3,640,588 on federal campaign contributions. 
A 2011 analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10 found dozens of companies used tax breaks and various tax dodging methods to have a negative tax balance between 2008 and 2010, while making billions in profits. In 2008-10 General Electric paid less than no income tax with a rate of –45.3% and a tax subsidy of $8,398. 
Board of Directors
As of January 2013
- W. Geoffrey Beattie, Deputy Chairman, Thomson Reuters
- John J. Brennan, Chairman Emeritus and Senior Advisor, The Vanguard Group, Inc.
- James I. Cash, Jr., Emeritus James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Graduate School of Business
- Marijn E. Dekkers, Chairman of the Management Board, Bayer AG
- Ann M. Fudge, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Young & Rubicam Brands
- Susan Hockfield, President Emerita and Professor of Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Director, QUALCOMM
- Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman of the Board and CEO, GE
- Andrea Jung, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Avon Products, Inc.
- Alan G. Lafley, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Procter & Gamble Company
- Robert W. Lane, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Deere & Company
- Ralph S. Larsen, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson
- Rochelle B. Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus and former Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
- James J. Mulva, retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, ConocoPhillips
- Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative,
- Roger S. Penske, Chairman of the Board, Penske Corporation; Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Penske Automotive Group, Inc.
- Robert J. Swieringa, Professor of Accounting and former Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
- James S. Tisch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Loews Corporation
- Douglas A. Warner III, Former Chairman of the Board, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
As of November 2008:
- James I. Cash, Jr.
- William Castell
- Ann M. Fudge
- Claudio X. Gonzalez
- Susan Hockfield
- Jeffrey R. Immelt - Chair and CEO
- Andrea Jung
- Alan G. Lafley
- Robert W. Lane
- Ralph S. Larsen
- Rochelle B. Lazarus
- James J. Mulva
- Sam Nunn
- Roger S. Penske
- Robert J. Swieringa
- Douglas A. Warner III
As of 2006:
- Jeffrey R. Immelt - Chairman & CEO – GE
- James I. Cash, Jr. - Director since 1997
- Sir William Castell - Vice Chairman - Director since 2004
- Ann M. Fudge - Director since 1999
- Claudio X. Gonzalez - Director since 1993
- Susan Hockfield - Director since 2006
- Andrea Jung - Director since 1998
- A. G. Lafley - Director since 2002
- Robert W. Lane - Director since 2005
- Ralph S. Larsen - Director since 2002
- Rochelle B. Lazarus - Director since 2000
- Sam Nunn - Director since 1997
- Roger S. Penske - Director since 1994
- Robert J. Swieringa - Director since 2002
- Douglas A. Warner III - Director since 1992
- Robert C. Wright - Vice Chairman - Director since 2000
As of January 2013:
- Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO, GE Europe; CEO, GE Germany
- Charlene Begley, President & CEO, GE Home & Business Solutions; Senior VP and CIO, GE
- Kathryn A. Cassidy, Senior VP and Treasurer, GE & GE Capital
- Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior VP, GE
- Matthew G. Cribbins, Vice President, GE Global Audit
- Pamela Daley, Senior Vice President, GE Corporate Business Development
- Brackett B. Denniston III, Senior Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel, GE
- Alex Dimitrief, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Litigation and Legal Policy, GE
- Shane Fitzsimons, Chief Financial Officer, Global Growth & Operations, GE
- Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO
- Mark M. Little, Senior VP and Director, GE Global Research
- John F. Lynch, Senior Vice President, GE Corporate Human Resources
- Puneet Mahajan, Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, GE
- Jamie S. Miller, Vice President and Controller, GE
- Michael A. Neal, Chairman and CEO, GE Capital
- Susan P. Peters, VP of Executive Development; Chief Learning Officer, GE
- John G. Rice, Vice Chairman, GE; President & CEO, GE Global Growth & Operations
- John Samuels, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Tax Policy and Planning, GE
- Trevor A. Schauenberg, Vice President, Corporate Investor Communications
- Keith S. Sherin, Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer, GE
- Susan E. Siegel, GE Corporate Vice President; CEO, healthymagination
- Brian Worrell, Vice President, GE Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis
As of January 2013:
- Mark W. Begor, President and CEO, Capital Real Estate and Capital Restructuring
- Charles Blankenship, Jr., President and CEO, GE Appliances
- Steve Bolze, Senior VP and President & CEO, GE Power & Water
- Jeffrey S. Bornstein, Senior VP & CFO, GE Capital
- William H. Cary, SVP and COO, GE Capital
- John Dineen, President and CEO, GE Healthcare
- John L. Flannery, President and CEO, GE India
- Tom Gentile, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Systems
- Daniel C. Heintzelman, Senior VP and President and CEO, GE Oil & Gas
- Dan Henson, President and CEO, GE Capital, Americas
- Jay Ireland, President and CEO, GE Africa
- Daniel Janki, President and CEO, GE Energy Management
- David L. Joyce, Senior VP and President & CEO, GE Aviation
- Richard A. Laxer, President & CEO, GE Capital, EMEA
- Lorenzo Simonelli, President & CEO, GE Transportation
- Dmitri Stockton, President & CEO, GE Asset Management
Former executives include:
- John F. Welch, Jr. - former chair and CEO
|Key 2006 executives and pay: ||Options
|Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer||$8,300,000||$3,100,000|
|Keith S. Sherin, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer||$3,780,000||$1,490,000|
|Robert C. Wright, Vice Chairman and Executive Officer||$9,400,000||$9,860,000|
|Michael A. Neal, Vice Chairman, Vice Chairman of Commercial Financial Services||$4,700,000||$2,940,000|
|John G. Rice, Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of GE Infrastructure||$3,950,000||$1,660,000|
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Articles and resources
Featured SourceWatch Articles on Fix the Debt
- Fix the Debt Portal Page
- Fix the Debt's Leadership
- Fix the Debt's Partner Groups
- Fix the Debt's State Chapters
- Fix the Debt's Lobbyists
- Fix the Debt's Parent Group
- Fix the Debt's Corporations
- Pete Peterson
- Peter G. Peterson Foundation
- America Speaks
- Simpson-Bowles Commission
- Erskine Bowles
- Alan Simpson
- Social Security
Related SourceWatch articles
- Climate Action Partnership
- General Electric's Ecomagination Campaign
- GE Energy
- GE Water & Process Technologies
- Precautionary principle
- Water Policy Institute
- Owen D. Young - former president
- Dale Frey - former CEO
- Sir Ronald Grierson
- David L. Calhoun - former vice chair
- Donohoe MT, GE - Bringing Bad Things to Life: Cradle to Grave Health Care and the Alliance between General Electric Medical Systems and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Synthesis/Regeneration 2006(Fall);41:31-3 (print version is abridged version, web address above is for complete version with references. An open-access Powerpoint is available at GE-NY-Presbyterian Hospital Agreement.ppt. No password necessary.
- Steve Bailey, "Forget the elephant", Boston Globe, June 3, 2005.
- "GE Opts for Disclosure", O'Dwyers PR Daily, January 11, 2006.
- Anthony DePalma, "G.E. Moves Ahead on Removal of PCBs From 2 Rivers, but Frustration Remains," New York Times, May 1, 2007.
- Mary Milliken, "GE 'Green' Ecomagination Unit Gaining Ground--CEO," Reuters, May 25, 2007.
- Pratap Chatterjee, "Climate Change Debate Fuels Greenwash Boom," CorpWatch, December 11, 2007.
This article may include information from Tobacco Documents Online.
|Search the Documents Archives of the Tobacco Industry|
|Legacy Tobacco Documents Library:|
- GE Subsidiaries/Affiliates Covered By Hoover's, Hoovers, accessed June 2007
- General Electric, "GE Sells Remaining Stake in NBCUniversal Joint Venture and Related Assets to Comcast for $18.1B" , organization press release, February 12, 2013
- Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information on American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Roster 2, organizational task force membership directory, March 31, 2011, p. 46, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
- Public Campaign, For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%? How Corporations Pay More for Lobbyists Than in Taxes, organizational report, December 2011
- Murphy Sprinkel, Philip Morris Untitled letter 3 pp. April 30, 1985. Bates No. 2022210503/0505
- P.N. Gauvin, Philip Morris Monthly Development Summary - May, 1984 Memorandum. 2 pp. June 1, 1984. Bates No.2022217613/7614
- "GE supplier abuses workers, group says" March 28, 2008.
- "J-POWER Acquires 49.5 Percent of 242-Megawatt Birchwood Power Plant in King George" Reuters, May 8, 2008.
- Iris Kuo, "Two cleantech behemoths team up to tackle clean coal: GE and China" Green Beat, Jan. 18, 2011.
- [http://wyofile.com/2011/09/ge-wyoming-coal-could-be-converted-to-shirts/ "GE: Wyoming coal could be converted to shirts" Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile, September 16, 2011.
- Marc Fisher, "Air America, in the Throes of Victory?", The Washington Post, December 10, 2006.
- "Air America on Ad Blacklist?", FAIR, October 31, 2006.
- "Air America Blackout", FAIR.org/ABC memo, October 25, 2006.
- Robert S. McIntyre, Matthew Gardner, Rebecca J. Wilkins, Richard Phillips Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers: 2008-10, ctj.org, November 2011
- General Electric, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed January 2013
- Directors, General Electric, accessed November 25, 2008.
- General Electric Board of Directors, 2006 Source
- General Electric, Corporate Executives, organizational website, accessed January 2013
- General Electric, Business Executives, organizational website, accessed January 2013
- General Electric Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed October 2007.