OK, I realize that General Electric
But the news isn't all shadows and gloom for the king of electric lighting. Yesterday, GE announced that it's going on a hiring spree, adding 500 new workers to its payroll, and investing $432 million in capital improvements as it burnishes the brushed aluminum on its vaunted appliances division.
Light at the end of the Recession?
Two years ago, at the Great Recession's nadir, GE made a startling announcement. After decades as one of the biggest names in appliance manufacturing, GE had decided to exit the appliances business. As it turns out, trying to sell refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashers to a nation facing near-10% unemployment wasn't as easy a job as it used to be.
So GE put its appliances division up for sale, hiring Goldman Sachs
But no dice. As luck would have it, GE couldn't find a buyer willing to pay its asking price. In 2009, the company did a double-take, reversing course on its sale plans, GE decided to take a sour economy and try to make lemonade. It began a program of $1 billion total investment in its appliances division, hired 1,300 new employees, and plotted to steal market share from the likes of Whirlpool
GE leads the way
On Oct. 8, the Conference Board published a survey of CEO sentiment in the U.S., showing that America's corporate bosses are more pessimistic about the economy today than at any point since Q1 2009. Of those surveyed, 78% thought the economy would stagnate or worsen over the next six months; only 22% saw prospects for improvement.
With GE publicly proclaiming a plan to invest $30 billion toward reinventing itself over the next two to three years, I think we can guess which camp CEO Jeff Immelt occupies.
Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.