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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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GE's re-organization reaches San Ramon digital headquarters

Uploaded: Jan 11, 2018
The corporate re-organization of General Electric reached into San Ramon last year when the firm submitted required documents to the state announcing 148 layoffs in its Digital Division in Bishop Ranch.
CEO John Flannery, who took over last summer, has announced plans to significantly pare down the conglomerate including shedding its namesake light bulbs. In the fourth quarter, GE cut its dividend in half, a first for the 125-year-old company. Former CEO Jeff Immelt had positioned GE to be at the forefront of the Internet of things and the San Ramon division was driving that vision.
Flannery’s dramatic moves are no surprise given the miserable performance of GE in the stock market. In a year, when the Dow was up 25 percent and companies such as Amazon (up 56 percent) Boeing (up 89 percent) soared, GE was one of the big losers. Its stock fell 45 percent as investors considered Flannery’s plan to slim down the conglomerate.
The CEO described 2018 as a year of “reset” for GE and told analyst it will shed about $20 billion in businesses over the next few years.
The re-organization of GE Digital in San Ramon shows the firm’s investment into the “Internet of Things” may be slowing. In an earlier Business Times report GE was planning to grow by 25 percent in San Ramon. It has leased 340,000 square feet in Bishop Ranch since announcing it would be headquartered in San Ramon in 2015. It grew 500 employees between 2016-2017 and planned to add another 500 this year according to the Business Times.
The story quoted a GE spokeswoman who said the layoffs were part of a realignment necessary in the plan to grow the company. As 2017’s results showed, it has lagged competitors in shareholder value for many years.

Reading through the comments following Dennis Miller’s article about Matt Sweeney retiring as the Foothill High football coach after 31 years, I was struck by two:
1. Bob Ladouceur, the legendary DeLaSalle coach wrote, “Congratulations on a great career. Your teams were always tough, well prepared. You've won more game you had no business winning than any coach I've coached against. Well done.”
2. Craig Bergman, the long-time Monte Vista football coach, wrote, “Coach Sweeney is one of the finest football coaches I’ve ever known. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the battles we have had in the field. No matter the outcome, we would always talk the next day and congratulate each other. Proud to call him a friend. Good luck Matt with everything, you’ve earned a nice break.”
There were several other positive comments from families whose sons had played for Sweeney over the years, but those comments from his coaching peers stood out to me.


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Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Jan 11, 2018 at 11:28 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

I have had more than a passing interest in General Electric. My father graduated from Cal in 1939 and spent his entire career with GE, first in Schenectady and finally in Roanoke, Virginia. His brother spent his entire career with GE in Cincinnati. My first job after graduating from college was with GE in Erie, Pennsylvania. my father-in-law spent most of his career with GE in Salem, Massachusetts.

GE has a great history of invention, innovation and growth but was becoming stagnant in the 1970's as it faced increasing worldwide competition and strident union demands in the northeast. Jack Welch took over in 1981 and moved many of its businesses to southern states, brought more stringent accountability and the entrepreneurial, small business approach to its many divisions. Jeff Immelt followed and was a disaster bringing new prominence to the term crony capitalism.

Of late, the stock market seems to think that GE may have hit bottom. Hopefully that is also true with regard to their San Ramon office.


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Posted by james564, a resident of Canyon Oaks,
on Jan 13, 2018 at 2:14 am

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