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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Beth Comstock

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

We are attempting to redefine what it means to be a broad-based technology company as we reenergize a hundred-year- old company. GE has an array of complex infrastructure technologies ranging from medical imaging to energy generation, jet propulsion and materials. Building on these technologies the company is forging a future in areas such as personalized medicine, renewable energy, nanotechnology, water management, and global security.

“Imagination at Work” started as a company-wide marketing communications campaign and in two years has become a rallying cry for GE’s employees to innovate…to put their imaginations to work to solve some of the world’s toughest problems in the areas of health, energy, transportation, security and water scarcity. We’ve employed metaphor and simplicity to bring to life the beauty, power and clever connections of complex technology. Imagination has become a core GE value and a standard by which leadership is driven to become more curious, innovative and externally focused.

Technology has become GE’s growth platform. A year ago, the company introduced the “Imagination Breakthrough” initiative to stimulate organic growth. Led by marketing, this is a proving ground that imagination can drive tangible value. All of GE’s businesses are responsible for creating a number of Imagination projects that each yield a minimum of $50MM of incremental revenue by introducing new technology, opening new markets or leveraging existing technologies in new ways.

The long-term impact will come about when GE has reached a new level fueled by integrating marketing and innovation in a way that makes significant impact with our customers.

Brief Biography

Beth Comstock GE Corporate Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

As chief marketing officer, Comstock oversees commercial excellence and development of a revitalized marketing function across the General Electric Company. Comstock is responsible for GE's corporate sales and marketing efforts, and integrated communications including advertising, branding, internal communications, marketing communications and public relations. She has led the company’s efforts to position GE’s identity with its future through the launch of the successful "imagination at work" campaign.

Comstock has been a GE company officer since 1998, at which time she was named GE's vice president of corporate communications. Previously Comstock was senior vice president of NBC communications from 1996, and vice president of NBC News communications from 1993. She held a succession of communications positions at NBC, Turner Broadcasting and CBS Entertainment. She began her career covering the Virginia State Legislature for a Richmond-based news service.

Comstock is a director of Genworth Financial. She was named “Marketing Executive of the Year” by BtoB Magazine in 2003 and was named “PR Professional of the Year” by PR Week magazine in 2004.

Comstock graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in biology.