Industrial giant GE unveiled a renewed IoT strategy, including the creation of a new independent company to deliver a comprehensive software portfolio for the sector.

The new unit will start with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue and an existing global industrial base. It will be wholly-GE owned but independently run, with its own brand and identity, equity structure and board of directors.

Lawrence Culp, chairman and CEO of GE, said: “As an independently operated company, our digital businesses will be best positioned to advance our strategy to focus on our core verticals to deliver greater value for our customers and generate new value for shareholders.”

The company will focus on “asset intensive industries”, with a focus on power; renewables; aviation; oil and gas; food and beverages; chemicals; consumer packaged groups; and mining.

As part of the refocus, GE’s Digital arm will sell a majority stake in ServiceMax, a provider of cloud-based software productivity tools for field service technicians. It is being acquired by technology investment company Silver Lake, although GE will retain a 10 per cent stake.

ServiceMax and GE Digital have also entered a reseller agreement enabling ongoing collaboration to serve joint customers, and plan to continue integrating technology offerings.

Existing GE Digital head Bill Ruh has decided to “pursue other opportunities”. A process is underway to find a CEO for the new business.