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GE’s CEO Went Live From New York

“In what’s being described as a ‘first of a kind,’ GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt hosted a live webcast with retail investors Thursday,” writes Anna Snider for IR Magazine.

“The event was simulcast on a number of Internet sites including CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, MSN, AOL, Yahoo!, Bloomberg, Forbes and theStreet.com.

There’s no sense yet whether this approach will become standard for GE. ‘We are always looking for new ways to communicate with our investors both institutional and retail,’ Wilkerson said. ‘We love this idea and it really opens up new channels through technology. We’ll see how this event goes, learn from it and continue to use technology to reach investors.’ Retail investors have had other access to Immelt. GE does over 350 investor meetings per year, with many being webcast, Wilkerson said. ‘Jeff meets with investors regularly, including retail investors. One example is our City Swings program, where Jeff travels to cities and meets with individual shareowners and customers.’ The event should help drive investors to use the Internet as a way to receive the annual report.

‘The online version of the report has grown in popularity over the years and we are adding more functionality to it every year, such as downloadable spreadsheets and search capabilities,’ Wilkerson said. ‘Some investors prefer this format, and there are some cost benefits to it. ‘Our webcast is an extension of the online edition. There are still others, however, that prefer to receive an actual book,’ he continued. ‘So, we will continue to work with both formats, but look for ways to identify preferences in advance so we can meet needs and save costs.”

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