Dec 16, 2016: Current, GE’s new energy management startup, seems to be shifting its focus to grow faster, and scale more quickly. It is in the process of reorganizing the business and making it leaner.
According to a Greereport Media report, Nikolas Noel, director of communications, Current, has confirmed that “strategic organizational changes” are in process. Some employees who work with Current and have knowledge about the restructuring said that the company is shuffling its resources to focus on core areas like lighting and analytics.
It is still not clear how many employees will be affected by the layoff and restructuring that will be ongoing into 2017. However, according to sources, hundreds of employees will be affected—some will be shifted internally and others will be eliminated.
What was the problem?
Launched in October 2015, Current had thousands of employees that worked on combining smart lighting, solar, EV charging, energy storage and energy management services for customers in the commercial and industrial sectors.
Current is into the business that included energy storage and smart cities—two very different businesses with different sets of customers. The company’s mission is also not yet clear. Also, the market it is in—the market for integrated energy services—is still in its nascent stage. Experts believe that this market has its complexities that can lead to “stumbling blocks.”
What will be the new structure
According to sources, the storage business will go out of Current, and come under GE’s global research center. The solar division will stay with Current. The company will also likely keep division on connectivity through lighting and its energy management software, but will restrict the geographies and customer classes. In April 2016, Current had acquired the connected lighting company Daintree Networks for about $77 million. So it seems that lighting will continue to be Current’s focus.