Business

Jack Welch, Former GE Chairman and CEO, Dies at 84

Jack Welch, who grew General Electric during the 1980s and 1990s into the most valuable public company in the United States, has died at age of 84, CNBC reported on Monday.

Welch—known as “Neutron Jack” for cutting thousands of jobs—bought and sold scores of businesses, expanding the industrial giant into financial services and consulting. Under him, GEs market value grew from $12 billion to $410 billion. But his push to build out GE Capitals financing business nearly proved the undoing of the entire enterprise during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

“When the book about business leaders in this century is written, Jack Welch will be near the very top,” said Thomas Cooke, professor at Georgetown Universitys McDonough School of Business. “What he did as the leader of GE was remarkable.”

President Donald Trump tweeted: “There was no corporate leader like “neutron” Jack,” adding his warmest sympathies “to his wonderful wife & family!”

Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of GE, a business legend, has died. There was no corporate leader like “neutron” Jack. He was my friend and supporter. We made wonderful deals together. He will never be forgotten. My warmest sympathies to his wonderful wife & family!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2020

In December 1980, it was announced he would succeed CEO Reginald Jones and in April 1981 he took over as the companys eighth chairman and CEO. He served in that position until he retired in September 2001, succeeded by Jeff Immelt.

GE saw great growth and expansion under Welchs leadership. Through streamlining operations, acquiring new businesses and ensuring that each business under the GE umbrella was one of the best in its field, the company was able to expand dramatically from 1981 to 2001.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO GENERAL ELECTRIC CHIEF WELCH.
General Electric chief executive officer John “Jack” Welch speaks at a press conference in New York, on Oct. 23, 2000. (Reuters)

GE did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

According to GEs website, Welch waRead More – Source