GE’s Immelt on GE’s Green Initiatives

Wanna have a good laugh?  Check out WSJ OpEd columnist (and therefore suspect wingnut) Kim Strassel asking questions of General Electric’s CEO Jeff Immelt about GE’s Green initiative.

Immelt does a good job in responding to her (he managed not to call her a tool); But you can see he is less than enthralled with her line of questioning.

If the video glitches on you, just click on the time bar at bottom of the flash video frame to advance.




Is it just me, or are you almost embarrassed for Immelt?

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  1. riverrat commented on Mar 13

    Strassel and the rest of the wingnuts from the WSJ editorial page need to be reminded that SOMEONE pays the negative externalities of energy production, and other reasons that green technology is a growth industry. Companies that do nothing but stonewall efforts to reduce these externalities will eventually go the way of the dodo.

    Immelt appears to be gently trying to get the point across that GE can either get with the program or be left behind as other companies step up to the plate. We need only look at how long the U.S. auto industry either ignored the market for smaller, more fuel efficient cars, or offered idiotic products like the Pinto, for a good example of how NOT to operate if you want to remain competitive in the face of gov’t and consumer recognition of the benefits of lowering our ecological footprint.

  2. John F. commented on Mar 13

    I’m embarrassed for you too. Immelt is pretty clearly saying that a) uncertainty about future regulations and the potential for 50 sets of regulations is more harmful to his business than a single cap-and-trade system and b) GE’s businesses are in the sweet spot for producing cleaner energy. These answers seem in line with the questions. Maybe you have a problem with women.


    BR: Yes, that’s it. Guilty. The fact that this interviewer is a delusional wingnut ain’t the issue — its obviously that I have a problem with women.

    Thank you for clarifying that.

  3. George commented on Mar 13

    Sold out of train engines? Sold out of jet turbines?

    Damn, I was just going to buy one of those…

  4. Joe Klein’s conscience commented on Mar 13

    John F.:
    BR doesn’t have a problem with women. He only has a problem with idiots.

  5. andy in NZ commented on Mar 13

    Terrible production values too.

  6. Simon commented on Mar 13

    I thought he did a great job. He’s had loads of media training. Just check out the smile to the camera at the end.

  7. cathompson commented on Mar 13

    Kim could get a job as press flack for pinky and the brain. She obviously has their agenda internalized.

  8. cathompson commented on Mar 13

    On second thought this is a good example of why I own GE instead of News Corp.

  9. Douglas Watts commented on Mar 13

    The incandescent lightbulb question is classic Limbaugh. Implied premise: it is “UnAmerican” to select and develop technologies that do not waste huge amounts of scarce natural resources.

    I will never understand why some people think there is something UnAmerican about using energy efficiently; and stupidly wasting it is the pinnacle of Patriotism.

  10. Ross commented on Mar 13

    Douglas Watts
    I don’t know who you are talking about. Waste is waste. The old CEO of Dow Chemical once remarked that pollution was wasteful and being wasteful was expensive.

    Tell me you didn’t name one of your kids KILO.

  11. John Borchers commented on Mar 13

    I just ran a chart on this Oil to US Dollar thing.

    Oil does not run with the US Dollar. If you chart the Euro to US Dollar over oil (USO). Oil is still up 70%.

  12. John F. commented on Mar 13

    Immelt was quite clear when he launched the Ecoimagination initiative that he was agnostic about global warming (or is “climate change” the preferred term now?). CEOs have to play the hand they’re dealt. I don’t remember anyone calling him a tool at the time.

  13. larster commented on Mar 13

    Strassel is a hack. She once interviewed a small mill owner from Forks, Wa on the problems with gov regs on the lumber business. Of course, the regs were the problem, while the roads were full of logging trucks and my vistas were spoiled weekly by new clear cuts. The bottom lin is that there was no problem then except that this small mill owner had not kept up w/investment in his business. When I see her I skip the offering.

  14. Northern Observer commented on Mar 13

    She thinks she’s liberating mankind from tyranny when really she just a fluffer for the sociopaths of this world.
    I loath her. She IS the kind of mind that is dragging America into oblivion.

  15. Denny Crain commented on Mar 13

    Strassel’s got a face made for newspaper editorials.

    Denny Crain

  16. lsbumblebee commented on Mar 13

    What is the debate here? Since when is a Wall Street Journal columnist supposed to become Upton Sinclair? Of course she’s a tool. What did you expect her to ask? “Why does congress encourage and feed off of monopolies?”

  17. Scott commented on Mar 13

    If you haven’t seen Strassel on TV, she is a true believer — drank the koolaid, swallowed everything from the usual fantasy squawd.

    She’s Kudlow in a dress!

  18. SIV commented on Mar 13

    Is it just me, or are you almost embarrassed for Immelt?
    I’d say it is just you. The embarrassing thing is the amateur hour production values and a print journalist trying to work in a broadcast format(a GE PR intern could run circles around her). It is like the WSJ didn’t even practice for the video thing. Her questions were softballs that let Immelt stay “on message”.She didn’t challenge GE or the CEO at all.

    I don’t want the government to “select and develop” technology. That is the job of markets and innovators.

  19. dukeb commented on Mar 13

    Uh, Barry, it was an *obviously* fluffy run-and-gun interview with a fitting Q&A. I head a production company, and yeah, there was goofy camera, mic, light action…but again, it’s run-and-gun and from a print org trying to get into video no less. I’ve never seen the reporter before, but I have no doubt your disgust at this piece is the result of some HEAVY baggage she has in your eyes. That’s fine. I feel the same way toward Jim Cramer. But what struck me now in a very negative way is how so many of the comments from the minions come across like baby ducks following the big duck. Quack, quack, everybody…get a grip (production pun).

  20. gorobei commented on Mar 13

    Lord, her paragraph-long “questions” really turned me off.

    Honest interviewing (or getting input for managerial decisions) is really simple: one phrase to explain the issue, then ask for a response. Then drill down as needed (and smack evasion if you hear it.)

    If you aren’t doing that, you’re just pushing an agenda.

  21. Movie Guy commented on Mar 13

    “(he managed not to call her a tool)…”


  22. ronyregan commented on Mar 14

    Wingnut…I thought you were the wingnut
    Alernate energy? pretty son you’ll be chatting up Warp Drive

    Are you ready to be beamed up:) lol

  23. Akshay Tandon commented on Mar 14

    What I love about Amerian CEOs these days is their ability to say anything and follow it with how it would increase value for their investors.

    Also loved how he threw in India and China in there.

    I am a 21 year old student at Boston University from India and as of the last few months I have become a RSS subscriber. Keep up the great work.

  24. Chris D. commented on Mar 14

    Au contraire! She nailed him. She got Mr. Immelt to admit that he discriminates against technology based on age. If the incandescent bulb was good enough for Ronald Reagan’s GE, it’s good enough for me.

  25. dad29 commented on Mar 14

    Of course waste is stupid.

    Given that, it’s also clear that GE’s pattern is self-serving, not altruistic.

    BTW, flouro-bulbs are sometimes better than incandescents. Sometimes–not always.

  26. john commented on Mar 14

    Strassel is one of the whackoes who by some strange process seem to have got control of an ed page that is basically a disgrace to the best newspaper in the country. When I’ve read the main news pages I turn to the ed page for the daily eyeroll. There was no need to be embarrassed for Mr Immelt, he clearly was in control of this exchange giving sensible and articulate responses to long questions that Strassel had memorised from the little conservatives playbook. I’m all for free markets and free trade but because of their stridency and lack of objectivity the WSJ ed page writers like Strassel are very poor advocates for this agenda in the 21st Century. For example no one in their right mind would suggest Immelt is anti business but I’ve actually seen ed comments at the Journal suggesting this. It’s going to be interesting in the longer term to see how this plays out at the Journal as the Murdoch’s get their feet under the table. Rupert’s opinions are infinitely flexible and if he starts to feel Gigot and co are getting out of touch with where big business really is it’s hard to believe he’s not going to start leaning on these people. And in any case he’s probably only got another five years at most and it’s hard to believe Ms Deng or whichever Murdoch is pulling the strings thereafter are in sympathy with this sort of wing nuttery. As to the production values, all the WSJ values including those in studio, for example the subjects don’t even seem to be made up, are fairly high schoolish but this will change as Newscorp put their stamp on the business.

  27. TKL commented on Mar 14

    Don’t see the need for name-calling here. She’s a little more awkward than the usual CNBC bloviator, but Immelt shows no sign of judging her. In fact, the whole interview is so tame as to almost seems scripted (although he’s probably just heard the questions before). What’s the problem?

  28. Jim M commented on Mar 14

    I’m with TKL. I do not like the WSJ ed page, and I usually don’t like her in print. But come on. She asked decent questions from the standpoint of skeptical GE shareholders, and the offshoring question was definitely not from the WSJ playbook.
    And on her looks–cut it out, folks! Just because she’s not wearing 6 pounds of makeup. And my bud Jeff was flawless.

  29. john commented on Mar 14

    TKL and Jim have clearly not read some of Ms Strassel’s oped’s. And I repeat I’ve seen eds not by her but leaders which may have been written by her or the like minded saying Immelt was anti business. This is not about Ms Strassel’s interviewing competence it’s about her mindset which is a little weird and if you didn’t think her questions came from a wingnut playbook you clearly don’t read the WSJ with any frequency. She and her ilk there are in the long run doing a disservice to those that recognise the importance of the business community.

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