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Dear fellow shareholders,

We are excited and ready for the future, inspired by GE’s proud history.

That history is as singular as it is special. For more than 130 years, GE put its stamp on invention and innovation. We have done so quite literally with GE’s Monogram appearing on technologies as small as lightbulbs and X-Ray tubes and as large as the world’s most powerful jet engines and gas turbines. Our products and services have helped people cook dinner in their kitchen and power entire cities.

GE’s imprint is synonymous with progress itself.

For as long as we have been dedicated to that important work, we have detailed our efforts in this letter. Since it was first published in 1893, GE’s leaders have used this space to chronicle our performance and share with you what’s ahead.

This document always has been about more than our financial performance, though. It’s told the continuous story of GE’s culture and how our values are embedded in the purpose of building a better world. We remain acutely aware of and humbled by our responsibility to shareholders, customers, and society. And we recognize that our team still, and always, strives for results.

In GE’s very first letter, Charles Coffin, the CEO whom Thomas Edison called the best businessman he ever knew, wrote that the creation of the General Electric Company was “largely because of the zeal and hearty co-operation” of our employees.

This year’s letter is our last for GE in its current form, having spun off GE HealthCare last year and now preparing to launch GE Vernova and GE Aerospace as independent companies in early April. The credit again is due to the remarkable grit and resilience of the GE team.

But we are not marking the end. This is the beginning.

Belief in a better way has propelled this company forward since our earliest days. Today, in an ever-challenging environment, GE employees are embracing a lean philosophy rooted in kaizen, “change to make it better.” They are delivering for our customers by listening, learning, and executing. Step-by-step, one process at a time, they are advancing safety, quality, delivery, and cost, in that order, serving our customers and each other with deep respect.

There is not a better symbol of that dedication than the instantly recognizable GE Monogram. The scripted and merged letters are familiar but also forward-looking, even and especially as GE’s three parts transform to become their own independent wholes.

The merging of great people with great purpose. The connecting of plans and performance. The encompassing of how, as Edison would say, we find out what the world needs and try to invent it. Our new companies each will carry the Monogram forward because this is what they each will do.

Let’s take a closer look at our businesses.

Momentum building

2023 was an excellent year for the GE team. With strong demand in our end markets and with better execution, we more than tripled earnings and generated almost 70 percent more free cash flow* than in 2022.

We monetized about $9 billion in proceeds from our equity stakes in Baker Hughes, AerCap, and GE HealthCare. While GE has now fully exited our stakes in Baker Hughes and AerCap, our commercial relationships remain strong.

These actions helped us simplify and strengthen our balance sheet while making capital allocation decisions on our front foot, returning about $7 billion to shareholders through dividends, buybacks, and retiring our preferred equity.

Our teams have worked hard to prepare to launch as independent companies and now are operationally ready to do so. You’ll see GE Vernova trade as GEV on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following its spin-off, and GE Aerospace will continue to use the GE stock ticker, remaining on the NYSE. Our leadership teams are both ready, and we announced both boards of directors, recruiting current and new directors to join us.

To assemble teams like these is part of why we wanted to form independent, industry-leading companies in the first place—to be in the best position to bring together talented people with specific depth and passion to help GE Vernova lead the energy transition and GE Aerospace invent the future of flight. And both companies had exceptional years.

GE Aerospace

GE Aerospace [1] drove double-digit revenue, profit, and cash growth in the year, with continued strength in Commercial Engines and Services. Services represented about 70 percent of GE Aerospace’s revenue—generally a recurring, resilient, and higher-margin source of revenue that keeps us close to our customers’ needs.

The post-pandemic commercial aerospace recovery remains robust. It’s no surprise, then, that demand for new builds and aftermarket services is soaring, powered both by the world returning to flight and airlines looking to expand and modernize their fleets. The International Air Transport Association expects 4.7 billion passengers to fly this year—breaking pre-pandemic levels.[2]Global airline CEOs tell me they are largely bullish about 2024; they want more engines and more airplanes from our airframer customers, and they need more of our support in the field to keep their fleets flying.

Today, our 44,000[3] commercial engines power three out of every four flights. Our Commercial Engines and Servicesteam is serving customers like Emirates, who ordered 202 additional GE9X engines this year for its new 777X fleet. Along with our partners, we announced more than 280 engine orders at the Paris Airshow and more than 450 engine orders at the Dubai Airshow, including Air Arabia’s order for 240 CFM LEAP-1A engines.

While commercial engine deliveries were up 25 percent and internal shop visits were up 10 percent in 2023, we’re navigating a still-challenging supply chain. We know our airline, airframer, and lessor customers want more from us. We will deliver, driving sequential improvements both in our own operations and hand in hand with our suppliers.

Our Defense and Systems businesses power two-thirds of combat and rotary aircraft worldwide, including crucial programs like the F-16, F-18, Apaches, and Blackhawks. GE’s unmatched engine technology helps to strengthen defense cooperation across the globe, such as through our agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to jointly produce F414 engines for the Indian Air Force.
Meanwhile, we’re investing in future-facing platforms like Future Vertical Lift and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). Last fall, the U.S. Army accepted two T901 flight test engines for its FARA prototypes. Our defense customers’ ask of industrial partners like us is clear: support their readiness while delivering more, and more predictably.

On both sides of GE Aerospace’s house, then, you can see blockbuster demand for what we offer. The onus is on us to rise to meet that demand maintaining the highest standards of safety and quality and with greater predictability and speed.

Enter lean. The GE T408 engine, for example, powers the fast-growing CH-53K King Stallion, and volume on the engine is growing 300 percent year-over-year. With such an intense ramp, any delay or bottleneck matters a lot. That’s why last November, business leader Alex Stone, lean leader Camille Latour, and advanced engine mechanics Frank Stewart and Vinnie Falls led a cross-functional team through a kaizen event at our Lynn, Massachusetts, plant.

Coming into the event, our build time on the T408 was around 75 hours with two mechanics working simultaneously on two separate engines to meet demand. Our goal: Take that 75 hours down to under 32, with one mechanic working at a time.

By the end of the week, engineers and operators working together on the floor identified opportunities both big and small; saving hours of prep time by using a heat gun instead of an oven to treat a compressor rotor, for example. The result was reducing build time to just 11 hours with one operator, all the while enhancing safety and quality.

75 to 11 is the kind of change that takes your breath away. But to me, the best part was the fact that on Thursday of that week, the team was already talking about how they were going to do better than 11; what they could do next.

That is the spirit of lean and kaizen. Always getting better. Your mindset shifts to look for opportunities at the most granular levels, day in and day out, to enhance performance and eliminate waste.

These steps, scaled and compounded across our teams, help customers and support our own businesses. This “power of the ‘and’”, as Jim Collins would say, is the magic that frankly becomes addicting as the improvements build on themselves and grow.

[1] Following the planned spin-off, in which GE will distribute the common stock of GE Vernova on a pro rata basis to holders of GE common stock, General Electric Company will be known as GE Aerospace. In current financial reporting and guidance, GE Aerospace refers to our existing reporting segment.
[2] International Air Transport Association’s Outlook, published December 2023
[3] Including GE and our joint venture partners
GE Aerospace
"Belief in a better way has propelled this company forward since our very earliest days."

2023 Annual Report

GE Aerospace

H. Lawrence Culp, Jr.
Chairman and CEO,
GE CEO, GE Aerospace
February 2, 2024

Annual Reports