The fu­ture of GE Dig­i­tal

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ONLINE EXTRA -

The fate of Gen­eral Elec­tric’s dig­i­tal busi­ness is un­clear as the com­pany’s new CEO dives into an in­ter­nal re­view to pump up GE’s prof­its and re­store its sag­ging stock price.

Jeff Im­melt, who was CEO for 16 years, was en­thu­si­as­tic about high-tech ini­tia­tives such as 3-D print­ing and the com­pany’s Predix soft­ware sys­tem for an­a­lyz­ing data from in­ter­net-con­nected in­dus­trial ma­chines. Im­melt’s part­ing note de­clared that such ini­tia­tives “will de­fine GE in the fu­ture.”

But for now, they’re a small part of GE’s rev­enue. GE is aim­ing for more than $4 bil­lion in rev­enue this year from GE Dig­i­tal, its in­dus­trial in­ter­net di­vi­sion. That’s up from $3.6 bil­lion in 2016 — but out of $124 bil­lion in rev­enue from all busi­nesses last year. The big­gest driv­ers of the con­glom­er­ate’s rev­enue and prof­its are its power, avi­a­tion and health care oper­a­tions.

Wil­liam Blair an­a­lyst Ni­cholas Hey­mann be­lieves new CEO John Flan­nery might have to sell a por­tion of the GE Dig­i­tal busi­ness to cover in­vest­ment costs re­quired to ex­pand Predix around the world.

GE isn’t com­ment­ing. Flan­nery, who led GE’s health care busi­ness, plans to share his find­ings in Novem­ber.

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