It’s light (bulbs) out at General Electric Co.
Almost 140 years after GE founder Thomas Edison developed the first practical incandescent light bulb, the industrial giant is considering parting with its consumer lighting business, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Frankly, it’s been a long time coming and is more of a symbolic step than anything else: The unit’s reported potential sale price of about $500 million amounts to just 0.2% of GE’s current market value. But symbolism matters at a company like GE, whose long history has included a series of evolutions.
It will be sad if GE gets rid of light bulbs. But the business just doesn’t fit anymore: it’s a commoditized industry with weak growth, fewer innovation opportunities and different distribution channels than those used to sell locomotives or parts for a Boeing Co. plane.
The unit stood out all the more as GE separated the other consumer-facing parts of its empire including NBC Universal, appliances and the Synchrony Financial credit-card business. Home-bound light bulbs have also become more marginalized within GE’s broader lighting unit, which has shifted its focus to data-driven and energy efficient LED solutions for commercial entities and cities.
Story Credit- The Live Mint