Business remembers “Neutron Jack” Welch

Published by Scott Challinor on March 3rd 2020, 7:00am

US business magnate Jack Welch has passed away at the age of 84.

Welch enjoyed a 20-year stint as CEO of American business General Electric [GE] between 1981 and 2001 and helped make it the most valuable company in the United States.

He was dubbed “Neutron Jack” for his ability to cut costs, taking a ruthless approach to efficiency by offloading the lowest ten per cent of staff at the company every year.

Welch was also named “manager of the century” by Fortune Magazine in 1999.

The business stalwart's GE career began with him taking up a role as a chemical engineer at the company's plastics division in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Welch would then rise up the ranks to become the company's youngest ever vice-president, prior to being appointed vice-chairman in 1979. 

It was announced that Welch would become CEO in 1980, eventually taking up the reins in one year later.

Welch is known for expanding GE's portfolio into financial services and consulting, with his methods seeing GE’s market value soar from $12 billion to $410 billion [£321 billion].

US president Donald Trump paid tribute to Welch on Twitter, calling him a "business legend", "friend and supporter".

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
March 3rd 2020, 7:00am

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