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GE’s chief executive opens the door to breaking up the company

General Electric Chairman and CEO John Flannery said he is thinking about breaking up the company. –Associated Press

Could the sun finally be setting on the General Electric empire?

Chief executive John Flannery on Tuesday raised the prospect of ending GE’s long life as one of the world’s best-known industrial conglomerates by floating the idea of spinning off one or more of its remaining three core businesses into separately traded companies.

The breakup of the company born in Thomas Edison’s labs is one of the more radical options Flannery is considering to reverse an alarming slide in GE’s stock price during a bull market. Although officials said they remain committed to Boston, the restructuring idea raises the prospect that GE could wind up a very different company than the one state and city officials wooed here in 2016. It is set to move into a new headquarters complex in Fort Point over the next few years.