GE reveals restructuring plans for lighting business

Oct. 9, 2007
Further investment in energy-efficient lighting including LEDs and OLEDs will be part of proposals to refocus GE's lighting business.
GE Consumer & Industrial intends to restructure its lighting business to become "more competitive and better positioned for global growth in the dramatically changing lighting industry".

The restructuring proposal will impact plants in Mexico, Brazil and the USA, and is a continuation of structural changes that have occurred over the last year, says the Louisville, KY-based company.

The business is also focusing on new products and investing in new lighting technologies and R&D that will help its oldest business maintain its market and technology leadership, according to Jim Campbell, president & CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial.

“We are increasing our focus on the development and production of new, innovative lighting products like LEDs, organic LEDs, our new high efficiency incandescent light bulbs and other products that our customers will increasingly demand and require," said Campbell. "In the last four years alone we have invested more than $200 million on energy-efficient lighting.”

Campbell described the restructuring as "very difficult" in terms of its impact on employees, but also as "one of the most important things we’ve done in the 100+ year history of GE’s lighting business". He said that global market demand for the most common household lighting product – the incandescent bulb – has dramatically declined over the past five years, and [this trend] is accelerating due to new efficiency standards and technology advancements.

The proposal includes facility closures, work transfers, employee reductions and the sale of operations at GE sites in Europe, China, Indonesia, the US, Latin America, and India that have impacted more than 3,000 positions.

The objective of the proposed restructuring is to help the business better respond to customer and industry demands – particularly the global market move to more energy-efficient products – and invest in, and deliver, the high-tech lighting products increasingly in demand by customers around the world.