Every weekday in December, tED magazine is counting down the Top 20 Stories of 2016. Below, the #16 most-viewed story of the year, originally published on January 13, 2016.
Following a three-year search, GE has announced that it has selected Boston for its corporate headquarters location.
“GE aspires to be the most competitive company in the world,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations. Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research & development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world. We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city.”
GE has been considering the composition and location of its headquarters for more than three years. The Company began its formal review in June 2015, with a list of 40 potential locations. Boston was selected after a careful evaluation of the business ecosystem, talent, long-term costs, quality of life for employees, connections with the world and proximity to other important company assets.
There is no material financial impact to GE related to the cost of the move. Working with GE, Massachusetts and the City of Boston structured a package of incentives that provides benefits to the State and City, while also helping offset the costs of the relocation to GE. GE will sell its offices in Fairfield and at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to further offset the cost of the move.
The content of GE’s headquarters will also change, with more emphasis on innovation. In Boston, GE will have roughly 800 people; 200 from corporate staff and 600 digital industrial product managers, designers and developers split between GE Digital, Current, robotics and Life Sciences. A GE Digital Foundry will be created for co-creation, incubation and product development with customers, startups and partners. The remainder of administration will be placed in shared service operations throughout the Company.
GE has a significant existing presence in Massachusetts, with nearly 5,000 employees across the state in businesses including Aviation, Oil & Gas and Energy Management. In 2014, GE moved its Life Sciences headquarters to Marlborough, and in 2015 GE announced its energy services start-up, Current, would also be headquartered in Boston.
The headquarters will be located in the Seaport District of Boston. Employees will move to a temporary location in Boston starting in the summer of 2016, with a full move completed in several steps by 2018. GE will host a public briefing in Boston with government officials, and business and community leaders, on February 18, 2016.
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