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GE marries software, analytics to conquer digital world

September 15
10:12 PM 2015

General Electric Co. puts together a digital unit to catapult itself to the top of the world of software.

The unit will comprise of GE's Silicon Valley software center, its global IT and commercial software teams, and its industrial security operations.

Leading the unit as chief digital officer is Bill Ruh, who has headed GE's software center since 2011 after leaving Cisco Systems.

The decision to marry software and analytics comes as GE winds down its lending arm and home-appliances division to focus on its industrial business.

"This will provide GE's customers with the best industrial solutions and the software needed to solve real world problems," said GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt in a statement.

Immelt said GE is strengthening its digital capabilities to turn its software and analytics enterprise into a top 10 software company by 2020, up from 15th currently.

Dubbed the Industrial Internet, GE's big data business has been expanding under Immelt, alongside its manufacturing operations. GE manufactures such products as jet engines, oil field equipment, and gas turbines.

GE is expecting to earn $6 billion in revenue from software and analytics this year. The company's total revenue last year amounted to nearly $150 billion.

Earlier, the company said it would sell its health care lending unit and related loans, as well as most of GE Capital's assets. It is selling $26.5 billion in real estate assets.

As part of the reshuffle, the company has appointed Russell Stokes as president and CEO of GE Energy Management. He succeeds Mark Begor, who's retiring at age 57 after serving the company for 35 years.

Stokes has served as GE's transportation chief, launching a locomotive designed to meet new emission standards. Begor used to ran GE Capital's real estate business.

Replacing Stokes as head of GE Transportation is Jamie Miller, who has served as chief information officer of the company.

The new appointments take effect October 1.

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