Beth Comstock oversees sales, marketing and communications for General Electric. As the leader of three huge divisions in one of the world’s largest companies, Comstock has an incredible array of responsibilities. Those facts alone make her a compelling subject for a profile. But what I found most interesting about Comstock was her global, open and integrated outlook on business, both within GE and beyond it.
I wrote about Comstock’s philosophy and the changes she has instituted at GE since returning as Chief Marketing Officer in 2008 in a story for Google’s Think with Google site. Comstock wants her 5,000 GE marketers to be entrepreneurial. “Marketing is about creating new markets,” she says.
For GE, that means partnering with start-ups, launching cross-business initiatives, inviting academics and other experts to campus and setting up innovation centers around the world to ask locals what they need. Besides entrepreneurship and marketing, the story talks about management, collaboration, emerging markets, globalization, digital media and the Internet of Things (which GE is calling the Industrial Internet).
If this sounds like a lot of buzzwords, well…GE has a lot of buzzy initiatives right now. It’s a 134-year-old company with a great desire to stay relevant. You can find the piece here.