Thread regarding GE Digital layoffs

Byrne was a TERRIBLE choice

Virtually no experience in the software business, nor in enterprise solutions. Mostly niche hardware stuff. No familiarity with high growth tech areas critical to GED and its customers. Only qualification is being a friend and minion of Culp.

This was the final nail in the coffin for any hope of GED turning around. It’s dead, done, kaput.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt

21 replies (most recent on top)

CV reads like something out of the 1980's. Anyone think he could march into a VC's office on Sand Hill Road and walk out with a $100 million funding commitment? Me neither! Exactly NOT the kind of guy who's gonna turn things around. No matter, my 1970's CV is polished up and ready to go...

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-Wdem

@ZVNRvZt-oyvr

Hard disagree on GE IT, I think you’ll need to walk the ground more or talk to some engineers. Find one SV company (not just the ones you listed) that 1) has a TLS proxy, 2) OS update being held up for 1yr+ (not just a security concern, actually impacting some development teams to deliver results), and 3) a self-help forum for IT problems. That’s right, employees are supposed to solve each other’s issues and if that doesn’t help, you can create a ticket and it’ll get assigned to a contractor that would like to close it as soon as possible without solving anything because your problem is hurting their metrics.

If that doesn’t sound like a joke I don’t know what is. I’d be surprised if you can find a big SV company that has more than one of the three problems I mentioned.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-oyeu

@ZVNRvZt-nibn I am in agreement with you here. NewCo still remains to me the right path forward. It seems to not be ready at this point but going back is actually not an option. I no longer see the value of GE as it applies to the NewCO business. This is due to 3 reasons,

  1. GE has demonstrated it does not have the fundamental business model or Culture to be a competitive software company. 2. To Date Larry has not mentioned anything about GE having a strategy to be Digital or Digital Industrial. Being a software company is not a legitimate mission statement, it;s just Bill Ruh and Jeff Immelt trying to look cool to try to make stock prices go up in absence of performance. 3. The whole dichotomy between BUs has not been solved. To me it's simple, they dump Predix back into Corporate IT and free the Apps and rest to compete. Right now GE is limiting the market due to being an OEM competition. The investment is just sunk cost fallacy. There is also no reason not to just be at arm's length from the BUs, let them be the face to the customers and have them take the Sales commission for passing through product sales like real partnership. No reason for this redundant org and money transfer bs. As far as GE IT being a joke in cloud, you can say that about every company not name Google, Facebook, Amazon or Microsoft....
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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-oyvr

@ZVNRvZt-kpmk
I hope your perspective is not a shared one among management otherwise GED is f—ed. Let me explain.

Customers can still be treated well while you take care of your employees. These are not mutually exclusive; you should treat both well. Without customers you don’t have sales and without employees you don’t have a product.

And that’s exactly why you have a hard time retaining talent. Those who are able are leaving for more lucrative jobs, regardless if the company is B2B or B2C.

I think your argument is more towards how NewCo is a bad idea (premise of a separate legal structure is autonomy which you argue is not necessary in B2B). I also don’t agree with that view. Two other benefits of a spin-out is separation from GE IT, and lacklustre performance of other GE BUs. GE IT is a joke especially if GED is trying to succeed in a cloud business. Bonuses are heavily weighed down by GE Power downturn, so there is really not incentive to do well because bonuses would always amount to peanuts. A spin-out solves those problems.

In terms of autonomy, sure, B2B software might not need to be that nimble, but that’s autonomy at the PM level. If an engineer feels the lack of autonomy then that’s a management problem because there is a lot of interesting problem space no matter if GED is B2B or B2C.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-nibn

@ZVNRvZt-jqso I have a different perspective about customer first. GED customers are all mega customers. Not even small-to-middle size customers. This is different from consumer market software companies and those cloud software companies who serves small-to-middle size industrial customers. To serve mass market, individual customer does not have much leverage, and product innovation plays bigger role here. Thus employee/internal R&D are important to the success. For GED, it is not the case. Requirements from each customer are critical and often unique. no single size fits all. not much freedom for employee to take lead. I did not say employee is not important. it is still the second important part of the equation. but it is not as important as those in consumer market software or cloud software companies in Silicon Valley.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-kpmk

@ZVNRvZt-jdmw Agreed, and they should’ve sold GED before embarking on the NewCo endeavour. Now they’re in the predicament of moving either forwards or backwards are both worlds of pain.

On a more general note, I really dislike the constant rhetoric of focusing on customers. Yes that’s how you win sales but that’s only half the equation. Just because Jeff Bezos has that mentality does not mean we have to worship it. Employees are treated as a second thought and the brain drain is real. When you keep aligning your salary and benefits with “market rates”, guess what, all the engineers that are worth a damn is going to leave for places that pays “above average”.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-jqso

Be serious on Power - given the magnitude of problems there, growing software cannot be a major priority.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-jdmw

As far as gaining new customers, the best bet seems to be in Power leveraging the acquired Grid assets, that is at least a real business although technology may not be as impressive as Predix.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-hoan

"Customers" refers to existing customers (many internal) who don't want their existing investment to be lost because the company goes out of business and no one supports the technology. The reality in the field is that no new customers will seriously consider GE Digital after the miscues and amateur handling of the events of the past two years. The choice of leadership was indeed a poor one, and it marks the end of GE Digital as a viable choice to customers.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-fpta

Customers are pushing for NewCO and GE to stay together. That being said my impression is NewCO well behind in plan to actually become a viable standalone, and so they needed some air-cover to defer.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-fgxf

Right -but were those recommendations solid ? Hard to believe given the capabilities of the extended team...

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-fefz

And the first thing he does is to backtrack on the spin-out of NewCo? Flushing Steve Martin (and team)’s efforts for the past 6mo down the toilet does not instill confidence.

@ZVNRvZt-arrh

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-bxte

DO NOT AGREE - Byrne was the CEO of a public company and a board member on two others. He doesnt need "experience" in a specific segment in order to align organizations and work with his teams to achieve goals. He is not a "business unit manager" with a CEO/VP title, he is a real CEO.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-arrh

good luck to all. yes current mgmt needs continued cleanse...

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-7yma

Many challenges and interesting to see it play out although will not be billions in revenue anytime soon. "Management" still remaining particularly on the commercial side is really weak, maybe can maintain what they have and put out PR, will not be able to define growth path or be credible to anything other than legacy customers. Walsh and others need to go...

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-6cyd

GED's problem is not leaders donot understand software industry but leaders donot understand industrial software. SR guys donot have experience working with industrial customers. In industrial world, you have to live with aging/legacy systems and have to interact with outdated legacy hardware. It is not closed apple ecosystem and you do what ever you want within iOS and iphone hardware. That's the ignorance of SR guys when they claim to build Predix as apple's iOS.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-5fiz

Cannot agree more. People older than 50 has no idea about software industry. I assume GE still looks for selling ged product piece by piece.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-5dnm

Nothing actually exists so what does it matter. F--- you ge digital and ALL of the slide ware b---s--- you’ve ever done.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-4mzj

A strategy of software as an extension of hardware is a terrible one though. IIoT applications are not islands. If GED shifts to more HW centric solutions, margins will suffer greatly. I agree with the OP - very poor choice in my view. This selection also makes me seriously question Culp's suitability as CEO for GE. He's a backwards looking fellow it seems, focused on optimising the financial performance of legacy businesses rather than building new ones.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-3wdh

Worst than Millar, Run, never those two jokers were supposed to generate $228Bn a year by 2022 from IIoT according to dreamer immelt

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-2vyd

it would indicate perhaps a strategy more centered on sw as an extension of hw (ie what ge does) and away rfrom enterprise solutions.

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Post ID: @ZVNRvZt-2zmo

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