GE names company-wide chief marketing executive

FAIRFIELD, CT: US-headquartered industrial giant General Electric has named Beth Comstock, most recently vice-president of corporate communications, as its first chief marketing officer in more than ten years.

Comstock will now oversee marketing efforts across the entire company, and will report directly to chief executive Jeffrey Immelt.

In addition, Gary Sheffer, formerly public affairs manager, has been promoted to general manager of GE public affairs and employee communications, reporting jointly to Comstock and senior vice-president of human resources Bill Conaty. Sheffer will oversee media and PR, messaging and employee campaigns.

GE ranked second in last year’s Fortune 500, with revenues of almost £120bn, and has diverse businesses ranging from medical devices and aircraft engine production, to corporate finance, to ownership of TV network NBC.

Immelt said, in a statement: ‘While we have made good progress invigorating GE’s commercial efforts, our next step is to drive marketing leadership, in tandem with sales, across the company.’

He added: ‘Beth and her team will focus more resources on serving markets in which GE has multiple business efforts.’

While most GE units and divisions have their own marketing teams, Comstock’s mandate is to increase central authority and uniformity to the company’s marketing and PR efforts.

Comstock has headed corporate communications at General Electric for the past five years. Prior to that she was senior vice-president of communications for NBC.

Most recently, she played a leading role in developing and launching the company’s tagline ‘Imagination at work’.

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