Jack Welch grew to fame in the business world through his management success and skills during his many years at General Electric. Welch turned the struggling slow moving giant of a company into a dynamic growth company revered by many. During his 20 years of leadership at General Electric (GE) Welch increased the value of the company from $13 billion to several hundred billion.
Born John Frances Welch Jr. in Salem Massachusetts USA in 1935. Welch received his B.S. degree at the University of Massachusetts in Chemical Engineering and then went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D degrees (as a Chemical Engineer) at the University of Illinois.
After graduating in 1960 Welch joined General Electric as a Chemical engineer and worked his way through the ranks to become the Chairman and CEO of GE, making him the eighth and youngest leader.
During his 20 year reign of General Electric, one of Americas largest and most well known companies Jack Welch’s management skills became almost legendary. His no nonsense leadership style gave him a reputation of being hard, even ruthless, but also fair when making business decisions.
Welch had little time for bureaucracy and archaic business ways. If managers didn’t change they were replaced with someone that could change. Managers were given free reign as long as they followed the GE ethic of constant change and striving to do better. He ran GE like a small dynamic business able to change as opportunities arose or when a business become unprofitable.
In his pursuit to change and streamline the General Electric giant Welch once earned the nickname of Neutron Jack. More than 100,000 GE employees had their jobs taken from them during his reign. GE businesses had to be the best performing business in their field or they were sold.