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General Electric names Beth Comstock as vice chair
September 1, 2015 / 3:43 PM / in 2 years

General Electric names Beth Comstock as vice chair

The logo of U.S. conglomerate General Electric is pictured at the company's site in Belfort, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

(Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) on Tuesday named Beth Comstock, a longtime marketing and communications executive who leads GE Business Innovations, as vice chair.

Comstock, 55, becomes the first woman in GE’s history to become a vice chair, a title that three other company executives also hold.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said Comstock had spearheaded investment in the “Industrial Internet,” GE’s efforts to evolve into a digital industrial company. The U.S. conglomerate is banking on use of data and analytics to improve performance of jet engines, locomotives, power turbines and other products and to expand its services business.

As head of GE Business Innovations, Comstock has been overseeing the company’s lighting business, which had $2.5 billion in revenue last year and is using digital technology to reinvent itself.

She also leads GE Ventures and Licensing, corporate marketing, sales and communications, and will take on added responsibilities for developing new customer business models.

Comstock joined NBC in 1986, just as GE was buying the television broadcaster. She became GE’s vice president of corporate communications in 1998.

In 2003, she was named GE’s chief marketing officer, and she sits on the board of Nike Inc (NKE.N).

Comstock becomes the fourth GE vice chair, joining Keith Sherin, who runs GE Capital; John Rice, who leads the company’s global operations; and Dan Heintzelman, who is responsible for enterprise risk and operations.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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