Jack Welch, who changed General Electric into an exceptionally profitable global conglomerate, has passed on. He was 84.
His wife disclosed to CNBC that he passed on Sunday at his home, surrounded by his beloved family and his dogs. Suzy Welch said the reason for death was renal failure.
Welch got one of the country’s most notable and highly respected corporate leaders during his two decades as GE’s chairman and CEO, from 1981 to 2001.
Current GE Chairman and CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr. said in an announcement it was a dismal day for the whole organization’s family.
“Jack was larger than life and the heart of GE for half a century,” Culp said. “He reshaped the face of our company and the business world. Jack was a strong and constant influence throughout my career despite never having worked directly for him. When I last saw him, what I remember most vividly was when he asked me, ‘So how exactly are you running the company?’
“Jack was still in it – committed to GE’s success. And to have Jack Welch ask me how I am running GE is pretty humbling.”
Welch personified the alleged “cult of the CEO” during the late-1990s boom when GE’s soaring stock cost made it the most significant organization in the world.
His results-driven management approach and hands-on style were credited with helping GE turn a financial corner, albeit some of the achievement came to the expense of thousands of workers who lost their jobs in Welch’s persevering endeavors to reduce expenses and rid GE of unprofitable businesses.
He was named “manager of the century” by Fortune magazine in 1999. His other nickname, “Neutron Jack” was earned for slashing a huge number of jobs, CNBC said.