GE Digital Names Former Larry Culp Lieutenant As CEO

'Pat Byrne’s expertise in industrial technology is a real asset as many of our customers are looking for trusted partners who can help them leap ahead in digital transformation,' one GE Digital partner tells CRN.


GE Digital has appointed a former lieutenant of the parent company's chief executive, Larry Culp, to lead the division.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based digital business of GE announced that former Danaher Corporation executive Pat Byrne will serve as its new CEO. He succeeds Bill Ruh, who led GE Digital from 2015 to late 2018. The business had been run by GE Power executive Steven Martin in the interim.

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A GE Digital spokesperson did not respond to a request for additional information.

Byrne's appointment comes as GE intends to spin off its digital business, which includes the company's Predix industrial Internet of Things platform — a plan that was first announced last December. The company had stated in the December announcement that it would share more details of the spin-off by March, but no further announcements have been made so far.

Jim Gillepsie, CEO of GrayMatter, a Warrendale, Pa.-based GE Digital partner, said he is bullish on Byrne's appointment and has high hopes for the company's future.

"We see GE Digital executing on their promise to prioritize customer needs, and it’s an exciting time to collaborate with them," he said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. "Pat Byrne’s expertise in industrial technology is a real asset as many of our customers are looking for trusted partners who can help them leap ahead in digital transformation."

GE Digital's announcement briefly restates the company's spin-off plans, with Byrne quoted as saying that he's "excited to join GE as it transforms its Digital business and helps its customers leverage software to become more efficient, productive, and safe."

"GE was one of the earliest leaders in the Industrial Internet of Things, and I am proud to join a great team with an excellent track record of innovation and customer service," he said in a statement.

Culp, who was appointed CEO of GE last fall, said Byrne is joining the GE leadership team "at a critical time as we execute on our priorities to improve GE’s financial position and strengthen our businesses."

While Culp was CEO of Danaher — the industrial manufacturer he was widely credited with turning around — Byrne served under him as chief technology officer. From 2012 to 2014, Bryne led mergers and acquisitions efforts as well as new technology initiatives, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"He has been at the heart of digital transformation everywhere he’s worked and brings considerable experience running businesses and collaborating across businesses within large organizations," Culp said in a statement. "Pat’s technical expertise and deep experience differentiating industrial technology with software and analytics make him the right leader to take this business forward."

Bryne was most recently a senior vice president at Fortive, an industrial conglomerate that spun off from Danaher in 2016 and he currently serves on the board of directors for memory supplier Micron Technology. Before that, he was president of Tektronix, a test and measurement device manufacturer that had been acquired by Danaher before it was spun off as a subsidiary under Fortive.

GE Digital has undergone multiple changes since Culp was appointed to lead and correct the parent company's various financial problems. In addition to its planned spin-off of GE Digital, the division's flagship partner conference was indefinitely postponed, more layoffs were made and GE sold a majority stake of ServiceMax, which had been a part of GE Digital, to private equity firm Silver Lake.