Rank: 5 (Previous rank: 6)
Compare tool: General Electric vs. Top 10
CEO: Jeffrey R. Immelt
Address: 3135 Easton Turnpike
Fairfield, CT 06828
For years, critics have complained that far from being a well-diversified conglomerate, GE was really just a financial company disguised as an industrial firm. CEO Jeff Immelt has typically brushed off such complaints, telling FORTUNE in November 2007, for instance, that he saw more opportunity than risk for GE's finance arm (which veers from business loans to real estate investments). "I like our financial hand right now," Immelt said.
Well, a year-and-a-half later, trouble in the finance unit -- which, to be fair, is still profitable -- has cost GE its triple-A credit rating as well as 70% of its stock market valuation. - J.B.
Industry: Diversified Financials
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