GE Healthcare to relocate global headquarters from UK to Chicago

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | January 13, 2016
Business Affairs CT European News Molecular Imaging MRI X-Ray
GE Healthcare moves
(back) to Chicago
In what Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is calling "a tremendous win” for his state, GE Healthcare has chosen downtown Chicago as its new global headquarters. The company's executive leadership team, including the CEO and chief financial officer, will be leaving the UK over the next few months to set up shop in the Windy City.

The announcement came just a couple days prior to the news that parent conglomerate, General Electric, will be relocating from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts.

“We are excited to strengthen [GE Healthcare's] roots in Chicago, where we will continue our focus on being the leading provider of outcome-based solutions for the health care industry," said John Flannery, company president and CEO, in a statement.

The company is currently based out of Amersham, UK, where it has been since General Electric purchased Amersham plc. for $10 billion in 2004. That location will continue to serve as its base for UK operations, as well as the home of its global Life Sciences head office.

Before the investment in Amersham, GE Healthcare spent over 50 years operating out of the Milwaukee area. It arrived in Waukesha in 1947, where the booming beer industry had given rise to a population of capable glassblowers; a valuable skill in the X-ray tube manufacturing business.

GE Healthcare's imaging business is still largely based out of Wisconsin and, with 6,000 employees still in the area, some of them may be asking themselves why Chicago?

Company spokesman Benjamin Fox could not comment on the decision making process but was quoted in the Journal Sentinel stating that Wisconsin will remain a hub for global manufacturing and leadership, as well as the global headquarters for its CT, MR, and X-ray businesses, and the unit's services and life care solutions businesses.

Flannery pointed to Chicago's rich industrial heritage, excellent international transportation links and proximity to some of the world’s leading health care and academic institutions as reasons for the decision.

Among those institutions is the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and Flannery was a somewhat surprising attendee at last November's annual meeting, where he participated in a panel addressing the interoperability challenges ahead for radiologists.

In addition to being at the center of the U.S. health care stage, Chicago is where the company first got its start.
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Mudi Ramesh

GE Healthcare to relocate global headquarters to Chicago

January 14, 2016 04:09

It's interesting how most people are gullible when it comes to analyzing actions like these from large corporations. GE Healthcare is relocating not because they have any love for Chicago or for being geographically closer to organizations like RSNA. Any actions from companies are purely to be in sync with the #1 goal of any business - to add value to the shareholders. GE Healthcare is relocating simply to cut costs drastically of operating from a high-cost location like Amersham, UK. They are obviously not going to divulge their reasons for the relocation so as not to ruffle any feathers in any quarters!

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