The change comes after Facebook announced a stellar quarter of earnings Wednesday night, sending the value of its stock soaring. Facebook is now the sixth most valuable company in the S&P 500 index, bigger than Wells Fargo (WFC), Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), and Amazon (AMZN), in addition to GE.
The change is illustrative of the evolving nature of American business. General Electric, more than 120 years old, was founded by Thomas Edison himself and came to represent the industrial prowess of the American economy.
Facebook, on the other hand, is only about a decade old and represents the American economy’s shift away from manufacturing goods to the creation of software and ideas. One statistic that underscores the difference in these two business models: GE employs more than 300,000 workers, while Facebook’s head count is just under 12,000.