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Boston-area business leaders react to GE’s Boston headquarters move

Jan 13, 2016Boston Business Journal, Council in the News

By Sara Castellanos

“GE’s selection of Boston reinforces the limitless opportunities for economic growth that are available to us when business and political leaders work together to reinforce our commonwealth’s strengths and to address our competitive challenges. Gov. Baker and Mayor Walsh should be commended…we congratulate them on this significant milestone in Massachusetts’ economic history.” ~ Mass. High Tech Council President Chris Anderson

A new anchor company is coming to town.

Boston-area technology, venture capital, finance and education leaders say GE’s upcoming headquarters move to Boston is a huge win for the region. Ellen Rubin, co-founder of Boston-based tech firm ClearSky Data, said the move is emblematic of a larger trend: Giant, established companies taking charge of innovation. 

Companies like GE (NYSE: GE) are realizing “they must be technology companies to thrive,” Rubin said in an email. “And, that they need to have roots in a place like Boston to build and retain development and engineering talent in order to succeed.”

GE would be the largest company in Massachusetts by a long shot. The company’s market cap stands at $291 billion. The market cap of the current largest company, Biogen, is $62 billion.

Steve Kokinos, CEO of Cambridge-based tech firm ThinkingPhones, said the move further positions Boston as “an international hub for innovation in technology.” It also shines a spotlight on the area’s “enormous pool” of local talent, he said.

In Boston, GE said it will have roughly 800 people; 200 from corporate staff and 600 digital industrial product managers, designers and developers split between GE Digital, Current, robotics and Life Sciences.

GE had 305,000 employees as of Dec. 31. The multinational company, which develops and manufactures a broad portfolio of consumer and commercial products, is currently based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Increasingly, the Massachusetts High Technology Council is stepping up to create, execute, and lead critical statewide competitiveness strategies. Fostering a vision for our innovation economy under the MassVision2050 banner, the Council solidifies its position as a thought leader providing valuable insights to navigate emerging technologies, facilitates long-term planning, and reinforces the Council's commitment to excellence and action in the evolving Massachusetts tech-driven economy.

To learn more, contact Council President Chris Anderson.