General Electric has had a hand in a lot of ventures since its 1892 founding. It was one of 12 original companies that formed the Dow Jones Industrial Average just a few years later, and it’s been a pioneer in not just electricity, but radio, TV, and computing over its lifespan. Now the company is breaking itself up, forming three separate publicly traded companies focused on aviation, healthcare, and energy, respectively.
“By creating three industry-leading, global public companies, each can benefit from greater focus, tailored capital allocation, and strategic flexibility to drive long-term growth and value for customers, investors, and employees,” CEO Lawrence Culp said in a statement. “We are putting our technology expertise, leadership, and global reach to work to better serve our customers.”
The company we know as General Electric will handle the aviation sector of the business. GE has rebounded since a 2018 low point when it was removed from the Dow after more than 120 years, the result of a decade of losses sparked by the Great Financial Crisis. That year, Culp took over as CEO and set about simplifying the multi-industry corporation. He sold the appliance division and even the lightbulb division, the bedrock of General Electric. This latest move is the biggest and boldest yet.
“We’ve made a lot of progress, not only with the balance sheet but improving our core operations, over the last several years,” Culp said Tuesday on an investor call. “But I think as we’ve seen in so many instances outside of GE over the last decade, spinning good business heightens focus and accountability.
“Today is a defining moment for GE, and we are ready. The momentum we have built puts us in a position of strength to take this exciting next step in GE’s transformation and realize the full potential of each of our businesses.”