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World's top 10 companies

2. General Electric

July 31, 2008

"We are going to solve tough customer and global problems and make money solving it," Jeff Immelt, CEO, GE.

Imagination at work, says the GE tagline. Innovation and research are the strongholds of GE. In 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon wearing boots made of GE's silicone rubber. GE has four strong businesses in the financial services, infrastructure, and media markets.

GE Capital offers an astonishing array of products and services aimed at enabling commercial businesses and consumers worldwide. The company prides helps build the healthcare, transportation, and technology infrastructure across the globe. General Electric's sales stand at $172.74 billion and profits at $22.21 billion in 2007.

History of research

GE's research started in a barn in 1900 when General Electric Company completed eight years. The barn saw company's major breakthrough technologies. One of the earliest projects of the new lab was incandescent lighting. GE scientists have thousands of patents, and two Nobel prizes: Irving Langmuir won the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1932 and Ivar Giaever won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973.

Image: General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey R. Immelt. | Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

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