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UPDATED: GE set to move HQ from Fairfield to Boston

General Electric is moving the company's headquarters from Fairfield to Boston. Company executives called Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh with the news this morning.  


GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement:


"Working with GE, Massachusetts and the City of Boston structured a package of incentives that provides benefits to the State and City, while also helping offset the costs of the relocation to GE. GE will sell its offices in Fairfield and at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to further offset the cost of the move."


GE criticized business tax increases enacted this year by the Connecticut General Assembly and Governor Dannel  Malloy. Some of the taxes were scaled back.  Immelt said in November that the conglomerate will always have a big presence in Connecticut, though a new headquarters site would be likely. 


GE officials said today that while they considered a move for the past three years, this summer 40 potential locations were examined.


"The content of GE’s headquarters will also change, with more emphasis on innovation.  In Boston, GE 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. A GE Digital Foundry will be created for co-creation, incubation and product development with customers, startups and partners. The remainder of administration will be placed in shared service operations throughout the Company."


Wilton state Senator Toni Boucher says she was not surprised that GE decided to go through with a move, but is deeply disappointed.  Boucher says it was only a matter of time because of the state's anti-business climate.  She called the presentation that Connecticut made to GE officials "weak".   It used pictures of competitors engines, not GE engines.  She cited that as a reason to question the kind of levels of research and effort made by Connecticut officials to persuade GE to stay in Fairfield.


Boucher says many of the changes made to the budget in response to GE's criticism were cosmetic.  She says structural changes are needed to keep Connecticut from operating in "deficit mode". 


She is concerned that others might follow.


The company employs about 5,700 people in Connecticut, including 800 at the Fairfield operation that has been its headquarters for four decades.


The new headquarters will be located in the Seaport District of Boston. Employees will move to a temporary location in Boston starting in the summer of 2016, with a full move completed in several steps by 2018.

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