Letter to Shareholders

Leading a Digital Industrial Era

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Your company delivered in a year of sluggish growth and geopolitical surprise. There is deep skepticism toward the ideas that powered economic expansion for a generation, with concepts like innovation, productivity, and globalization being challenged and protectionism on the rise. We’re in an era when some very basic assumptions about the global economy are being tested - an era when trust in big institutions is so low that the most valued “strategy” is simply change in any form. For an American company, our country is diverging from the rest of the world. We will be less of a leader in trade. Meanwhile, we are stripping away years of bad regulatory and economic practices to promote competitiveness.

GE is filled with business leaders, not philosophers. We understand that the best companies don’t make decisions based on what they hope for, but rather on the facts they see. We win by being a valuable, global company and by engaging members of every community we operate in all over the world. We play to our fundamental strengths. We have the world’s best industrial businesses that compete in large markets. We add enterprise strength through what we call the GE Store. We are building a culture that is simpler, faster, and more accountable.

Positioning GE to win has required change. Every leader talks about change, but most are just managing momentum. This is a luxury we didn’t have in GE. We refocused the company to be in businesses where we can lead while investing in new capability to capture future growth. We want GE to be essential to our customers, investors, and the world.

Over the last decade, we transformed the GE portfolio, increasing the portion of earnings from our industrial businesses from about 45% to 90%. We strengthened our competitiveness through investments in technology, globalization, and efficiency. In the past year, we sold most of GE Capital assets at good prices, integrated Alstom – our largest industrial acquisition – and announced plans to merge our Oil & Gas business with Baker Hughes, creating a broad industry leader. These are “once-in-a-lifetime” deals for most companies. We did them all in one year.

At the same time, we are investing in disruptive innovation that will drive industrial productivity in the future. We have established two new businesses – GE Digital and GE Additive Manufacturing – that are in the early stages of value creation for GE investors.

The challenge for any company is to invest in the future while delivering results. We have challenged ourselves to hit aggressive financial goals as we transform GE.

GE Executive Team

Jeffrey R. Immelt

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Beth Comstock

Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer, GE Business Innovations

David Joyce

Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, GE Aviation

John G. Rice

Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
GE Global Growth Organization

Vic Abate

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Jeffrey S. Bornstein

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Philippe Cochet

Senior Vice President and Chief Productivity Officer

Alex Dimitrief

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Susan P. Peters

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Bill Ruh

Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer

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