General Electric’s Chief Technology Officer Isn’t Moving to Boston
General Electric’s chief technology officer is one of several top executives who will not be making the move to the company’s new headquarters in Fort Point.
GE had previously gushed about the Boston’s thriving technology sector, citing it as one of the main reasons for the move, which was sweetened by $145 million in state and local tax incentives. In a statement earlier this year, vice president Ann Klee called the South Boston seaport a “major hub for innovation and development.”
But Vic Abate, GE’s head of technology, won’t be making the move to Boston, the Boston Business Journal reports. While he will have an office in Fort Point, Abate will staying put not far from GE’s one-time Schenectady headquarters, in Niskayuna, New York: population, 5,129.
“I want people that are down in the Seaport, I want them to walk out of our office every day and be terrified,” GE CEO Jeff Immelt told a Boston College CEO’s Club luncheon in March. “I want to be in the sea of ideas so paranoia reigns supreme. To look out the window and see deer running across, … I don’t care about [that].”
From his window in Niskayuna, Abate may see the mighty Mohawk River. But who knows if that paranoia will waft 200 miles down the jet-stream.
Update: Thursday, 11:05 a.m.
Niskayuna is home to one of GE’s global research centers, which employs around 2,000 people in 100 labs spread across a 550-acre campus. GE moved from downtown Schenectady to Niskayuna in 1950, and according to GE spokesperson Sue Bishop, Thomas Edison’s desk is still there, too.
“Niskayuna is part of a thriving globally connected R&D network. We have centers all over the world” said Todd Alhart, spokesperson for GE Global Research, in a statement Tuesday evening. “With the new HQ, Boston will certainly plug into this network as well. We’re excited about making new technology connections with the region’s thriving tech sector.”