General Electric, the industrial conglomerate, said on Thursday that it would cut 12,000 jobs in its power division worldwide, a bid to reduce costs as the company scales back the sprawling ambitions that characterized it for decades.
The company said it was looking to improve its global competitiveness, and blamed a series of challenges facing the power sector worldwide, including overcapacity, growth in renewable energy and the “softening” of traditional power markets.
“This decision was painful but necessary for GE Power to respond to the disruption in the power market,” Russell Stokes, the head of the company’s power division, said in a statement. “We expect market challenges to continue, but this plan will position us for 2019 and beyond.”
The announcement comes amid a wide-ranging shift at G.E. as its new chief executive, John Flannery, seeks to streamline a conglomerate with stakes in sectors ranging from light bulbs to medical imaging equipment and jet engines.
The job cuts in its power division would help G.E. save $1 billion, the company said, part of an overall effort across its businesses to reduce costs by $3.5 billion in 2017 and 2018.
Mr. Flannery recently announced that the company would be shedding several businesses in the coming years, including some that reach back to the days of its founder, Thomas Edison, like light bulbs and railroad locomotives.
In addition, to help pay for the remaking of the company, G.E. announced last month that it would cut its dividend, only the second time it has done so since the Great Depression.