No old-line company embraced the digital wave with more gusto than General Electric. The industrial giant spent billions, hired thousands of software engineers, and even created image-morphing television ads to recast itself as “a digital-industrial company.”
The scope of GE’s digital ambitions were put on full display in 2015, when the company set up GE Digital as its own business within the industrial conglomerate. Jeffrey R. Immelt, then chief executive, boldly declared GE’s goal to become a “top 10 software company” by 2020.
Today, there are no such ambitions. The spending at GE Digital is being slashed, amid layoffs and sharply narrowed aims at GE under John Flannery, who became chief executive in August.
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