Dr Alf has valid concerns about GE.
I used to work for GE Capital, and their ‘modus operandi‘ seems to be to purchase companies after very hard headed and thorough evaluation, negotiation and discussion and then place any debt incurred to make the acquisition into an offshore special purpose vehicle.
Stage 2 is to remove layers of management and get rid of the old order, whilst replacing it with fewer people.
Thus the costs of acquisition including extraordinary costs, payoffs, redundancies and outplacement counselling are all recovered in short order.
Then the “Workout” process begins, whereby workers identify weak managers and move to very flat self determined work team structures, with 4 or 5 layers between the senior directors and those at the coal face.
Then a test is applied”fix, sell or close”, to any business or division which is not No 1 or No 2 in its marketplace.
Those businesses which fail to make the cut quickly are soon put out of their misery.
With people the process used is Accelerated Change and Transformation.
Here the rule is 80/10/10.
The top 10% that year are promoted and given more pay and career progression. The 80% “sturdy yeomanry in the middle are trained, managed to their level of incompetence and get to keep their jobs. And the 10% at the bottom are “napalmed” and “black bagged”, which means they are dismissed, or made redundant and whenever possible not replaced.
Before any replacement occurs the processes used by those people are whenever possible streamlined, automated or replaced with cheaper people overseas (GE has thousands of UK/US trained accountants working out of shared services centers in India).
There is no job security except that which comes “from customers”, so in that regard as long as GE keeps getting them, even in what Jeff Inmelt calls “New Normal” conditions, people can remain employed as long as they do not fall into the bottom 10% in any particular year.
Whether GE is breaking up a bank or just doing business, what I have described illustrates their approach which by any standards is clinical and ruthless.