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Chemical Heritage Fdn.
Unlikely Victory: How General Electric Succeeded in the Chemical Industry
Jerome T. Coe
More often than not, companies that stray too far from their core business fail. So how is it that General Electric (GE), an electrical mfg. co., ended up as one of the top U.S. chemical producers? Coe suggests that it was a combination of necessity, forward-thinking on the part of their technical people, and managers wise enough to give them breathing room. Coe tells the whole story of this successful business model, from the early years of GE chemistry from 1900 to 1948, through the company’s successes with silicones, synthetic diamond, Lexan polycarbonate plastic, and other high-performance thermoplastics. Profiles 4 scientists and 5 managers -- incl. CEO John F. Welch, Jr., who made a significant difference in the company’s chemical success. Illus.
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