General Electric (NYSE:GE)
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2 Months : From Feb 2020 to Apr 2020
By Thomas Gryta
General Electric Co. last year shed roughly 78,000 employees, or more than a quarter of its workforce, leaving the American industrial giant with the same number of employees as it had back in 1951.
The company ended 2019 with about 205,000 global workers, down from about 283,000 a year ago, according to GE's annual report filed on Monday. In the U.S., its workforce dropped to 70,000.
It is the lowest number of employees at GE since the post World War II boom. The company ended 1951 with an average workforce of about 210,000 and had more than 400,000 by 1969, according to a review of the company's annual reports.
The 2019 reduction is almost entirely explained by GE's decision to part with two units: the oil & gas division and the Transportation business. The oil business had more than 65,000 employees, while the transportation unit had more than 9,000.
GE sold its oil and gas business to Baker Hughes Co. in 2017 but kept a majority stake until last year. After reducing its stake in 2019, GE no longer controls the company or counts Baker Hughes' financial results or staff as its own. The transportation business was merged with Wabtec Corp. in early 2019, transferring those workers.
"Our work is by no means finished, but we are on the right path," GE Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Culp wrote in his second annual letter to shareholders. Mr. Culp, the first outsider to run GE, was appointed to the top job in October 2018 when problems in a legacy insurance unit and its power division prompted the company to slash its dividend and profit targets.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 24, 2020 17:49 ET (22:49 GMT)
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