Gerald L. Phillippe, who became chairman of the board of General Electric in 1963, was widely known for his leadership in the nationwide effort to enlist the support of business in attacking urban problems, and unemployment. He was founder of the Urban Coalition.
Born in Ute, Iowa, September 27, 1909, Phillippe spent his boyhood in Basin, Wyoming. Early in his youth he acquired the nickname of "Flip," by which he came to be known throughout the business and financial communities.
During World War II Phillippe moved into his first managerial position as manager of the Statistics Division, with some 200 people reporting to him. He immediately won their admiration for his managerial skills.
In 1947 Phillippe was appointed auditor for the Apparatus Department, and in 1950 was named comptroller for the department. In November, 1951, he was appointed manager-finance of the Apparatus Sales Division. Two years later he was elected comptroller, chief financial officer of the company. He served in this position and as general manager of the company's Accounting Services until his election as president and a member of the board of directors on August 2, 1961. He became chairman of the board in 1963, succeeding the retiring Ralph Cordiner in that post.
Gerald L. Phillippe's term was cut short by his death in 1968, at the age of 59, but his astute leadership had left its mark on the growth of the company. His service to humanity also left its mark on the spirit of the company.
In honor of his leadership in public service, General Electric established the Gerald L. Phillippe Awards, recognizing outstanding social contributions by the award of a medal and an opportunity to designate a charity or educational institution for a $1000 grant from the General Electric Foundation.