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Immelt Defends GE While Acknowledging "Tough" Criticism

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The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt defended his company's business model while acknowledging the tough criticism GE received in recent weeks:

General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeff Immelt acknowledged Wednesday that the conglomerate's first-quarter profit stumble deserved the "tough criticism" it has received, but he also defended its overall business model.

"I'm a complete believer in our company and our strategy," he told reporters prior to the start of GE's annual meeting here.

Among other things, Mr. Immelt said the company is increasing its cost-cutting plans by about $1 billion this year, although he didn't provide details. GE now expects to cut about $3 billion in costs, compared with a prior estimate of $2 billion.

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