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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy
General Electric shifts strategy
    2017-August-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

GENERAL Electric Co. (GE) wants its industrial software business to cut costs and lift profits next year under new chief executive John Flannery, and is considering expanded partnerships and the possible sale of some equity in the unit, according to people familiar with the business.

Former chief executive Jeffrey Immelt spent six years and more than US$4 billion transforming 125-year-old GE into a “digital industrial” company. But GE has had technical problems and delays with its software platform, known as Predix, which connects equipment like turbines and elevators to computers that can predict failures and reduce operating costs.

This spring, GE called an unusual, two month “time-out” to tackle the Predix problems, which have not been previously reported. With fixes in place, GE will now emphasize sales to existing customers in its energy, aviation and oil-and-gas businesses, and scale back efforts to sell to new customers in other sectors, three senior GE executives said.

“Our resources will go to our fastest-selling markets,” GE Digital chief executive officer Bill Ruh said.

To help investors better understand Predix, GE also has redefined digital revenue to exclude US$3 billion in hardware related to its gas-fueled power plants, providing a clearer picture of the “pure” software business and avoiding double-counting, chief financial officer Jeff Bornstein said.

The company now expects US$12 billion in digital revenue in 2020, compared with US$15 billion under the old definition. GE’s total revenue hit nearly US$124 billion last year.

The changes mark an important course correction for GE Digital, which so far has not delivered the revenue investors wanted and is partly responsible for a 25 percent decline in GE’s share price this year to a near two-year low.

GE estimates the industrial internet market will be worth US$225 billion a year by 2020, and Flannery, who became CEO on Aug. 1, appears committed to Immelt’s vision of being a major player, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

But the 55-year-old leader, known for finance skills and making tough decisions, is likely to press GE Digital to reduce costs and lift profits next year. He also may restructure how GE Digital operates, bring in more partners and possibly sell a minority stake in the unit, they said.

“There was a lot of money spent on Predix,” said a former senior financial executive at GE who worked with Flannery. “They are going to tighten the grip and ensure there’s a return.”

(SD-Agencies)

 

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