Frankfurt a. M. / Munich – 13. September 2011 – Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, Senior Vice President and the new CEO of GE Germany invests heavily in Germany as a business operation. Over the next 15 months, the company will invest EUR 56 million to strengthen its organisation and to intensify the company‘s customer relationships.
Beccalli-Falco is thereby implementing the global growth strategy “One GE“, which will advance the international growth of the company through the development of strengthened, more integrated local teams. The focus of the business sectors on local markets allows a more targeted customer relationship. After India, Germany is the second country worldwide to implement “One GE” successfully. Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, kicked off the global implementation of the business model in November 2010.
“Today we have a strong organisation in Germany at our disposal with about 7,000 employees, four strategically focused business sectors, experienced management teams and a new headquarters in the economic heart of the country,” Beccalli explained. “Germany proved itself to be no less than an anchor of stability and a European growth engine in the financial crisis. We don’t have the same growth rates today that are sought after in emerging economies, but we see Germany as a key market for innovation and high-technology.”
The German market strategy has three pillars: strengthening the organization and talent with a new focus on the central business operations under the leadership of an experienced management team, investing in innovation, research and development (R&D) as well as increasing brand awareness.
Reorientation of business operations
The energy business of the company, GE Energy, has been aligned as the third business sector next to GE Healthcare and GE Capital, which are already well-established in the German market. The operative units Power & Water, Oil & Gas and Energy Management will now come under the leadership of the new CEO Prof. Dr. Ing. Stephan Reimelt.
The fourth business sector comprises aviation and software technologies as well as transportation and lighting technologies, which will be put under the direction of Georg Knoth in Technology Enterprises. The new assignment supplements the manager’s role as GE CEO for Austria and Switzerland.
The current Germany business leaders, Dr. Rolf Lucas, CEO of GE Healthcare, Rainer Thaler, Managing Director of GE Commercial Real Estate and Joachim Secker, CEO of GE Capital will continue to lead their respective businesses. Commenting on the new organization Beccalli-Falco said, “We now have an outstanding management team representing our businesses in Germany, a team that is empowered to build stronger relationships with our customers and build a larger footprint for GE in Germany.
Investment in research, development and innovation
Over the next two years, GE will invest EUR 30 million in expanding its research and development in Germany. Central to this is the establishment of a Customer Innovation Centre, an interactive research unit that allows GE developers and its customers to cooperate together on projects. The first step will be a virtual platform that networks about 500 GE engineers, in Germany, from different business sectors. A new portal will allow customers and engineers to exchange data and work collaboratively on projects within this virtual space.
The next step will be a physical innovation center. We expect to announce the location within the next few months.
Germany is already the center of GE’s European research and development activities. In Garching, near Munich, the company runs one of its five global research centers. The Institution was opened in 2004 and today houses 200 scientists. Fields of research are – among others – energy, aviation and medical technologies. GE plans to double the number of R&D employees by 2014 in Germany.
GE also relies on Germany for the development of more efficient and high-capacity drive technologies for aircraft engines. Since 2009, the company has been researching a unique mode of production for airplane turbine blades made out of titan-aluminum in Regensburg. The company has invested EUR 30 million in this project since 2009. The serial production is planned to begin in 2012. The number of approximately 40 high-specialized working stations is planned to grow to 200.
GE also invests significantly in innovative technology. Already, in 2011 the company has invested about USD 11 billion (EUR 7.5 billion) in the expansion of its energy sector. The German business profits from the acquisition of Converteam. The Converteam Group is a leading provider of power conversion engineering. Converteam develops and provides solutions built around three core components: electrical machines, variable speed drives, automation and process control. It serves specialized sectors as well as its six core markets in Renewables, Power Generation, Oil & Gas and Offshore, Marine, Industry and Services. Its site in Berlin has more than 800 employees. GE closed the acquisition of the global company on September 2, 2011, paying USD 3.2 billion (EUR 2.3 billion).
Increasing brand awareness
With an integrated advertising campaign, GE will gain consumer attention starting September 13. The campaign slogan: “We are the GE in GErmany” indicates a direct commitment to Germany and references the 100 year history of the company in Germany. It also emphasizes the fact that further investment will be made in Germany as a key market in Europe.
Four TV commercials and six advertisements concretely show how GE can help make Germany greener, healthier and more innovative. These commercials and advertisements can be seen on public and private television channels, as well as in various daily newspapers and magazines and online. GE has also re-launched its website www.ge.com/de and expanded its social media activities.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, service and finance company that takes on the most difficult global challenges. GE has committed itself to innovation in energy, health, transport and infrastructure sectors, is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 300,000 workers worldwide. Further information can be found on the company’s website at www.ge.com/de.
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