Rank: 12 (Previous rank: 12)
CEO: Jeffrey R. Immelt
Address: 3135 Easton Turnpike
Fairfield, Connecticut 06828
GE touted its diversified portfolio as one that could weather any economic storm. Last year tested the conglomerate's claim and in the end, as Jeff Immelt acknowledged in his annual letter, "GE stock got hammered" -- a 57% drop in 2008. Despite unfavorable returns, the company still managed to take in $183 billion in sales, up almost 4% from 2007.
By Immelt's count, the 130-year-old business has survived nine recessions and one depression, so it's ready to refocus and figure out how to buck up. On his list: reducing costs by $5 billion, primarily through layoffs and spending cuts.
Industry: Diversified Financials
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|Rank # of Global 500 Companies|
|Company||2008 Number of Employees|
|China National Petroleum||1,618,393|
|Royal Dutch Shell||$26,277|