GE CEO Discusses Appliance Division

by Gabe Bullard on October 29, 2009

General Electric’s Consumer and Industrial CEO says the company remains dedicated to its Louisville-based appliance and lighting division, a year after announcing a possible spin-off.

GE stalled plans to turn the division into a separate company last year, and Consumer and Industrial CEO James Campbell says he hasn’t heard any updates on restarting that process.

“The board has been real clear: run the business like we’re in it,” says Campbell. “And that’s where the employees are, and we’re just going, you can see from the presentation, we’re just going full steam ahead on it.”

After speaking to the Rotary Club on Thursday, Campbell said appliance sales are dependent on the housing market and unemployment numbers. People without job security are unlikely to upgrade their furnishings, he says, and customers typically buy new appliances when they buy new homes.

But, Campbell says he still sees a market for new appliances.

“I think there’s still a desire for people to want to invest in their homes,” he says. “And I think, from different builders I’ve talked to, remodeling seems to be a little bit on the upswing.”

Louisville’s Appliance Park has some 41 hundred employees.

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