Matthew J. Espe
President and CEO, GE Lighting 

Matt Espe, 43, was appointed President and CEO of GE Lighting, Cleveland, Ohio, on May 16, 2000.  Previously, he was President – GE Plastics Europe in Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, since September 1999. While there, he transformed the organization from a functional team to a business team structure.  The new business model helped improve execution and e-Commerce capability.

In January 1998, Espe served as President – GE Plastics Pacific and was also appointed a Vice President and Officer of the General Electric Company.  Accomplishments included upgrading the organization and improving key operating processes, resulting in 23% growth in operating margin in a severe economic recession.

Prior to that, Espe was Director – European Commercial Operations for GE Plastics in 1996. In this role, he was responsible for all sales activities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He delayered the existing organization, created a “customer productivity” team, and intensified marketing activities at Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, IBM and Compaq Computer, resulting in significant volume growth in 1996 and 1997.

In 1994, he served at “Polymerland” in Europe, a resin distribution business owned by GE.  Within 18 months, Espe’s team tripled Polymerland revenues to $300 million by extending the product offering beyond GE products and by building a pan-European presence through geographic expansion.  He added to the existing locations in Western Europe through acquisitions in Turkey, India, Sweden, Norway and Finland, and opened new offices in Moscow, Russia and Johannesburg, South Africa. Prior to the Polymerland assignment, Espe was in 1993 General Manager – Marketing in GE Plastics Americas – a $3 billion business.  There, he focused on product line design and organizational upgrade.

In 1991, he was Manager – Marketing Operations for GE Supply, responsible for the strategic direction of the business.  He led a team that accelerated GE Supply’s penetration of industrial market segments by expanding its product and service portfolio of factory automation systems and components.  In addition, he developed and implemented GE Supply’s entry into Mexico by establishing operations in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.

Espe joined GE in 1980 in the company’s Technical Marketing Program, after which he was quickly assigned a number of positions of increasing responsibility in sales and sales management in GE’s $1 billion industrial distribution business – GE Supply.

On the Advisory Board of the University of Idaho, Espe is also an active volunteer in United Way and GE Elfun – the Company’s global community service organization.

Espe earned an MBA from Whittier College in 1984 and is a 1980 graduate of the University of Idaho, with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He, his wife Lori, and their four children reside in Moreland Hills, Ohio.

(L to R) CBE Dean Byron Dangerfield, GE Lighting President and CEO Matt Espe, UI Provost Brian Pitcher  - 2/25/02

GE Lighting President and CEO Matt Espe
Teaching UI Business Students about
"Leadership Development at GE"


Business students have dinner with Matt Espe

Thank You Matt Espe!