“France has General DeGaulle and Spain has General Franco. But We have General Motors and General Electric”, so people would say when I first got US in sixties. Ge is splitting into three different companies after it was put through a wringer over last several years. General Motors was reorganized after a bankruptcy during early Obama years. I guess it is an end of era.
Also, the financial construct of Conglomerates has run its course. Nobody is smart enough to manage many companies with disparate businesses any more. Under legendary Jack Welch GE was a financial company masquerading as an industrial company that almost went under during the financial crisis of 2008. Financial side had covered all sorts of sins being committed by other groups. Jack was swimming naked but Jeff Immelt was exposed when the tide went out. Company never fully recovered and is finally paying the piper.
Incidentally, during dotcom era GE was valued at $600 billion, right up there with Microsoft and Cisco. GE’s valuation today is $117 billion and Cisco’s $239 Billion. Only Microsoft is riding high at $2.5 Trillion.