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Apr 20, 2016

US Top 100: No 1 General Electric

GE climbs nine places to reclaim top spot in the US Top 100 rankings

GE was ranked second in the very first IR Magazine Awards, held in the US, in 1996. The following year, and for five years in a row after that, it was the overall winner. This is now the 21st US investor perception study, and in 14 of them GE has ranked either first or second.

The seven ‘off’ years ran sequentially from 2009 until last year, when it was in a perfectly respectable 10th place. But now it’s back to its old form as a grand prix winner.

So what’s changed? One answer is that Matt Cribbins arrived to lead the IR team in January 2014. He’d already been with GE for nearly 20 years by then but he took IR by the scruff of its neck and set about bringing it fairly and squarely into the internet age.

That involved starting to blog – on Seeking Alpha, for instance – to engage with the 41 percent of GE’s owners who are retail shareholders. It also meant exploiting the resources and ability of GE’s digital communications team to revamp the IR website. That led to improved navigation, greater use of video, more links to the company’s postings on LinkedIn and Twitter, and so on.

All this has helped get GE back to the top spot in the IR Magazine US Top 100, as well as prompting a slew of compliments from the investors and analysts interviewed for this perception study. It also mirrors the enhancement of the company’s strategic focus on matters digital, including its corporate drive for speed and greater customer alignment through use of FastWorks, based on Eric Ries’ The lean startup. As Cribbins told IR Magazine last year, ‘You always have to innovate so that’s what we’re doing as a company – and that’s what we’re trying to do as an investor relations team.’

This profile first appeared in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – US 2016, which is available to professional subscribers of IR Magazine

Janet Dignan

Janet Dignan is a graduate of Otago University in New Zealand, where she read philosophy. From 1979 to1982 she was head of information at Linklaters, with responsibility for internal and external information resources for its offices in London, Hong...
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