When Marcel T. Thomas joined General Electric in 2001, he expected quick results from himself and those around him. The former Green Beret and White House fellow rose quickly through the ranks over a three-year period, beginning as a general manager of global sourcing for GE Rail--the largest U.S.-based locomotive manufacturer--where he lead an international team of more than 200 employees and was responsible for $2 billion dollars in annual purchases worldwide. In 2004 he had done so well that the company promoted him to CEO of GE Aviation Materials, a Texas-based division that purchases and sells airframes and turbine engines.
But his career came to a screeching halt in 2005.
GE denies the allegations that it discriminated against Thomas or against black employees as a group.
"GE has been globally recognized as a leader in diversity," Resnick says. "We do not discriminate. Our actions and policies bear that out."