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Jack Welch, Former CEO Of General Electric, Dies At 84

Jack Welch who had been the chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE) died of renal failure on Sunday 1st March 2020. He had been a remarkable American businessman, widely acknowledged by many.

 

Welch had joined General Electric in 1960 at the age of 25 as a junior chemical engineer. In 1968, eight years after, he became the vice president and head of GE’s plastics division. He was in charge of production as well as the marketing for the GE-developed plastics Lexan and Noryl.

 

Welch also became the vice president of GE’s metallurgical and chemical divisions in 1971 and head of strategic planning for General Electric in 1973.

 

In 1981, Welch became GE’s youngest chairman and CEO, taking over from Reginald H. Jones. He made changes to the structure that had been in place before him. He is also credited with making the “rank and yank” policy popular.

 

According to a Wikipedia article, during his reign, Welch would fire the bottom 10% of his managers, regardless of absolute performance. Meanwhile, he rewarded those in the top 20% with bonuses and employee stock options.

 

Fortune magazine named him “Manager of the Century” in 1999. Jack Welch massively increased the scope and financial might of General Electric while he was head of the company. The market value of the stock rose from $14 billion to more than $400 billion, an increase of more than 2,700% according to CNN Business.

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Following his death on 1st March 2020, many top executives and individuals offered eulogies to Jack Welch. See some of their posts below:

 

 

Was Jack Welch a villain or a hero?

Jack Welch Dies General Electric
Jack Welch with Donald Trump. Photo: Sky News.

 

However, it is not all praises for Welch, as some still pointed out that they had issues with his style. Jack Welch had retired in 2001 and by 2006 had an estimated net worth of $720 million. Yet, some believed he had tampered with people’s lives. See some disparaging views below:

 

 

 

While the views differ, there is a general consensus on the fact that General Electric fared better, financially, under Jack Welch.

 

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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