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As part of a broad strategy to streamline the company, General Electric plans to shed its Chicago-based transportation division.At an investor conference in New York City yesterday, GE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Flannery delivered the news that the company will divest GE Transportation from its portfolio."The company is in the early stages of this process and exploring a multitude of possibilities that may include, among several options, creative approaches used to transition GE's Consumer Finance business into Synchrony Financial or models like the Baker Hughes and GE Oil and Gas merger," GE officials said in a prepared statement issued after Flannery's presentation. "This move is in line with GE's broader efforts to divest $20 billion in assets over the next few years."The statement continued: "The Transportation business remains committed to building on its strong culture of innovation, deep domain, world-class technology and digital solutions in a way that best positions the business for growth."GE Transportation has been a leader in building passenger and freight locomotives for more than 100 years.Flannery, who's been with GE for 30 years and formerly ran GE Healthcare, said the future for transportation is less promising than other businesses owned by the company, according to a Chicago Tribune report of his remarks."We foresee a protracted slowdown," said Flannery. "We think it's going to be an extended slow period in North America."