Making the World Safer: Tammee Thompson
Tammee Thompson has a very important job: She helps keep the world safe. As President of the Asia division of GE Security, Tammee, 37, leads teams that develop products used in explosives and narcotics detection, video surveillance, fire detection, intrusion control, and much more. Currently, she’s working to expand GE Security’s presence in Asia, which means she has to develop products uniquely adapted to the local environment in each country, whether it’s Japan, India, or Australia. One day Tammee might be cultivating relationships with customers, and the next she might be leading a team of her colleagues. The aim is to create products that protect people and property in fields such as aviation, law enforcement, and banking. Learn more about this inspiring leader in this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
GE Security Founded 2002 Website Name Tammee Thompson Age 37 Hometown Ocean City, NJ Current residence Shanghai, China Education Stanford University, MBA Work Experience Morgan Stanley & Co. Ethnicity African American
B.A. in Economics
The Boston Consulting Group
Ernst & Young, LLC
Ocean City, NJ
Stanford University, MBA
Morgan Stanley & Co.
About the company
GE Security, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a leading supplier of security and life safety technologies, with operations in more than 35 countries and $2 billion in annual sales. GE Security offers one of the industry’s broadest product portfolios, covering explosives and narcotics detection, intrusion and access control, video surveillance, key management, and fire detection. GE Security’s products are used to protect people, assets and property across a wide range of industries, including aviation, law enforcement, banking, education, health care, mass transit, residential and retail.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
My role includes leading Asia division of GE Security, including operations in China, Australia, India, Korea, Japan and South East Asia. My day-to-day responsibilities are never the same. One day, I’m cultivating relationships with customers to understand their needs, and another day is focused on leading and developing teams around the region as it pertains to our operations, product design and GE Security’s overall business strategy.
What’s the biggest challenge?
The largest challenge in my current role is to develop products that work in Asia. The security environment is different in every country in the world. One size does not fit all. Ultimate success will go to the player that develops products with a local mindset.
What’s in store for the future?
My concentration is currently succeeding in my current role, and expanding GE Security’s business growth and presence throughout Asia.
Best way to keep a competitive edge
Embracing and driving change.
The ability of being agile to the market environment.
Having the passion for continuous learning.
Guiding principle in life
Honoring God and appreciating the many blessings. Every individual has some unique quality or advice that will benefit someone whether it’s time or guidance. Giving back to others is of paramount importance.
Yardstick of success
Flexibility: I never had a grand plan for my career. My passion for continued learning and confidence is my ability to successfully embrace new challenges has served me well in my career.
Goal yet to be achieved
Best practical advice
If you have a strong passion or dreams, pursue them so you can go through life with a sense of fulfillment.
Supportive words from a family member or friend on your venture
Always have trust and confidence in yourself. Make decisions that you are comfortable with and in the end you’ll walk away with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
My parents: they have always instilled in my siblings and me a desire to succeed and a passion for excellence.
Professionally, Art Harper, a former GE Executive, taught me the importance of leading successful teams, and gaining respect through confidence. He has been instrumental in a large part of my success at GE.
What motivated you to get started?
I’ll be honest, I moved to New York with the dream of dancing with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. My father insisted that I get a job to support myself. Over the course of two years, my work in business was far more fascinating to me than my work in the dance studio. It was then that I committed myself to a career in business
Like best about what you do?
I work with talented people and teams who are passionate about their jobs and the work that we do to make the world safer. Every day is exciting overseeing and managing global operations in a competitive and diverse environment. GE is a great company with an outstanding reputation for innovation excellence, and building great leaders
Like least about what you do?
Leaders are often required to make tough decisions that impact the livelihoods of others. I am always very thoughtful and reflective about those choices
At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a youngster, I wanted to be pediatrician until I took a high school class in biology. When the students were asked to dissect a frog, the experience quickly changed my career interests
What was your first job?
As a teenager during the summers, I worked as a waitress in restaurants and conducted clerical duties at an accounting firm. My first job out of college was as an investment banker
Biggest pastime outside of work
Cooking and Dancing
Person most interested in meeting
I would like to meet Oprah and Bono. These are people who have used their celebrity to make a positive impact in the world through philanthropic causes.
Leader in business most interested in meeting
Kenneth Chenault, Chairman & CEO of American Express, is very impressive. He’s one of the most influential African-American business executives on Wall Street leading a Fortune 500 company.
Three interesting facts about yourself
- I worked as a General Manager for a production company on Broadway in New York.
- Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve taken more than 40 culinary courses and prepared various exotic and ethnic cuisines.
- Salsa dancing
Three characteristics that describe you
- Grounded and accessible
- Intellectually curious
Three greatest passions
- My relationship with God.
- Spending time with family
“Execution” by Larry Bossidy
I support several charities, but I’m most passionate about causes linked to child advocacy.
Who would you like to be contacted by?
Introduction by Preeti Aroon
Edited by Valerie Enriquez