January 16, 2009 - GE Healthcare Ltd. is merging its two major divisions in metro Milwaukee - the diagnostic-imaging business and the clinical systems unit - under a broad reorganization of the $17 billion-a-year medical systems and biosciences company.
Although the "organizational redesign" coincides with job reductions across GE Healthcare's global operations, which the company announced one month ago, the latest changes by themselves will not affect employment levels, the company said.
"The redesign is about growth," Hooman Hakami, the global integration leader for GE Healthcare. The latest organizational changes reflect early efforts by John Dineen, who took over as GE Healthcare chief executive in July, to manage an organization that had grown unwieldy through a decade of rapid growth and nearly 50 acquisitions.
Its $9.5?billion acquisition of British biosciences group Amersham PLC in 2004 expanded the group beyond high-end scanners and ultrasounds and into what the company calls "personalized" and predictive medicine as well as protein research and gene sequencing. The expansion resulted in myriad new technologies and services in 100 countries.
Dineen's reorganization, which becomes effective February 2, 2009, is meant to make the company more responsive to local markets. The units within GE Healthcare that will operate independently around the world are the life sciences business; the surgical equipment business; the information technology business, which designs software to control medical costs; and the diagnostics business from Amersham.
Under the second leg of the reorganization, Dineen will carve the world into five regional markets, allowing the many operating divisions to focus jointly on geographic regions and give GE Healthcare a more cohesive identity. The regions are the Americas; China and India; Asia-Pacific, which includes Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand; and Europe and the Middle East.
Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of clinical systems, will run the combined hardware division, to be called the Healthcare Systems business.
Ishrak is a GE veteran who spearheaded early efforts to globalize operations, starting with a push into Bangalore, India, a decade ago.
That move made GE Healthcare one of the first GE divisions to globalize research and manufacturing. He will remain in Wauwatosa.
GE is treating the reorganization as if it had just acquired a major outside company, said Hakami, who presides over multiple integration teams.
"It's about putting all our products and regions on equal footing within the organization," he said.
Source: the Journal Sentinel (http://www.jsonline.com/business/37638594.html)
For more information: www.gehealthcare.com