General Electric Co. appointed current CIO of information services Vic Bhagat as site leader of the company's new information technology and research and development facility in Michigan.

As CIO of information services, Bhagat is responsible for delivering enterprise applications and services, IT centers of excellence and driving IT innovation for the company.

Bhagat, 44, is a 16-year veteran of GE where he's served as CIO for GE in India and Southeast Asia from 2002-2005.

He previously held a series of leadership roles in the areas of information management, e-business and corporate security across several GE businesses, including GE Aviation, GE Consumer & Industrial and GE Plastics.

GE's Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center opened in June 2009. The company has hired more than 20 employees at the center and is expected to hire nearly 80 senior information technologists and engineers by the close of 2009.

The center will expand to more than 1,100 GE employees over the next few years and will house the largest concentration of GE IT professionals worldwide in such areas as software development, data architecture, networking, business intelligence and program management.

"We're placing big bets in major areas of technology such as renewable energy, healthcare IT and smart grid," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt. "The deep expertise of the information technologists and engineers working at the center will help bring our technology investments to life and position us for continued growth."

The center will also include a GE research and development facility that is part of GE's global research network. It will house scientists and engineers developing next-generation manufacturing technologies for GE's renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other high-technology products.

Such work will include development of composites, machining, inspection, casting and coating technologies for GE's Aviation and Energy businesses.