General Electric Forms GE Digital Unit; Adjusts Management Roles

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — General Electric said Monday it will create a GE Digital unit as it focuses on industrial businesses and pares down elsewhere.

The GE Digital unit will include GE’s software center, its global IT and commercial software teams and Wurldtech industrial security, and will be led by Chief Digital Officer Bill Ruh.

“This will provide GE’s customers with the best industrial solutions and the software needed to solve real world problems,” GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement. He added the company plans to make GE digital a “top 10 software company” by 2020.

General Electric Co. has been making a push to focus on industrial businesses – making large, complicated equipment for other companies – and shrinking its other businesses. The company said in April that it will sell most of GE Capital’s assets and also said it would sell $26.5 billion in real estate assets. In August GE said it would sell its health care lending unit and related loans to Capital One for $9 billion.

As part of the move, Mark Begor, head of energy management, is retiring. Russell Stokes, 44, will become president and CEO of GE’s energy management business. He most recently led the transportation unit.

Jamie Miller, 47, will succeed Stokes in the transportation role. She was most recently senior vice president and CIO.

GE shares slipped 23 cents to $24.72 in afternoon trading. Its shares are down 2 percent since the start of the year.

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