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The 124-year-old company announced this week is shifting its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston. GE‘s headquarters will be in the Seaport District of the historic city, with the move starting this year and completed by 2018.
GE already employs about 5,000 people in Massachusetts. The longtime power components firm is undergoing a major restructuring toward digital and industrial capabilities.
The HQ shift will bring 800 jobs to Boston. Some observers noted that the new HQ will be close to many university and research entities.
“GE aspires to be the most competitive company in the world,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement Wednesday. “Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations. Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research and development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world. We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city.”
Another reason for the move, however, might be corporate taxes. GE stepped up its search for a new home last summer as Connecticut lawmakers increased taxes by $1.2 billion over two years, according to reports.
GE will host a public briefing in Boston with government officials, and business and community leaders, on February 18, 2016.
The company had been based in Fairfield since 1974. General Electric was originally incorporated in 1892 in New York when Thomas Edison’s umbrella company, Edison General Electric Co., merged with Thomson-Houston Co. of Lynn, Massachusetts.
GE is active on numerous digital, industrial and financial fronts. Its worldwide operations include building engines, power generation, appliances, digital energy products, storage technology.