A few days ago, I mentioned GE CEO and Obama adviser Jeff Immelt telling business leaders to “stop whining” and “start hiring.”
Well, Immelt has followed his own advice-GE is hiring-in China! Here is the news:
General Electric Co.’s health care unit, the world’s biggest maker of medical imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing.
“A handful” of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won’t be any job cuts, said Anne LeGrand, general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare. The headquarters will move from Wisconsin amid a broader plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation” and development centers.
The division should have “double-digit” growth rates as the country converts from film and analog to digital X-ray technology, LeGrand said.
Now, while I’d rather they hire in the U.S., I can see why companies go to other countries. If the U.S. has created an anti-business environment, companies must go elsewhere if they are to continue. I think of them not as “Benedict Arnold companies,” but as “Charles Darwin companies,” struggling to be fit enough to survive.
But here is the interesting thing, Jeff Immelt has told U.S. companies to hire when they feel it is against their economic interests to do so. Immelt was advising them to operate according to no known economic realities or economic laws. When it comes to his own bottom line, he does’t operate that way.
In moving part of his company to China, Immelt is obeying economic realities and economic laws. So surely Immelt knows that the hiring “advice” he’s been giving to U.S. companies is bogus. He won’t hire himself-unless it’s in China!