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Why General Electric Won Talent From Apple

General Electric made a splash in the tech world when it poached two top engineers working on voice assistant Siri, Darren Haas and Steve D'Aurora. The two are charged with building out the cloud computing infrastructure for GE’s software platform for industrial users called Predix.

Their hiring reflects how GE is looking to become an unexpected player in cloud software in its own right. The Predix software targets the big businesses who use the industrial machines that GE sells. Predix aims to vacuum data tossed off by sensors in these massive machines—jet engines, wind turbines, locomotives, power-plant turbines—and analyze it. The goal of the software is to help the owners of those machines, like airlines and utilities, make more money off them.

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Designing a so-called “hybrid” cloud computing infrastructure like this is tough. But it’s what Messrs. Haas and D'Aurora did at Apple, and what they were hired to do at GE.