theodp writes: If you doubted that President Obama was going corporate, writes Joe Weisenthal, just look at who's been tapped to replace Paul Volcker as head of Obama's recovery panel. By naming General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as his chief adviser on how to help U.S. companies create more jobs, Obama sent another signal that he wants to work more closely with big business. Joined by Immelt in Schenectady, a city once defined by GE, Obama toasted the creation of an estimated 350 jobs at the site of an under-construction GE battery plant, which was made possible with a reported $25.5 million Federal tax credit, $15 million in state funds, and wage concessions. Turning to Immelt to save the American worker is certainly outside of the box thinking. In 2004, Immelt boasted that 'Gecis [now Genpact] pioneered and set the standard' for offshore outsourcing as General Electric picked up a check for $500 million from VCs anxious to partner with GE in the lucrative global BPO business. Genpact has continued to lay golden eggs for GE — $100MM in 2007 and $300MM in 2010. And last tax season, even Forbes seemed aghast at how GE used overseas operations to pay nothing to Uncle Sam on $10.3 billion in pretax income. So it's no surprise that news of Immelt's appointment has drawn some skepticism. Still, in a 2009 speech, Immelt did do a turnabout of sorts, questioning the conventional wisdom of relying so heavily on off-shoring, which Immelt reiterated in his Washington Post Op-Ed on Friday. But whether Immelt will walk the talk remains to be seen. After all, less than a year ago, now-incorporated-in-Bermuda Genpact announced that GE has re-upped with its BPO creation through 2016, promising that 'Genpact will continue to have the first opportunity to provide new business process management services to GE.'
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