Welch: An American Icon
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More About This Title Welch: An American Icon


A rare perspective on the personal philosophy, business savvy, and future of the chairman of the most admired company in the world
Jack Welch, chairman of General Electric, is due to retire this spring. Welch has transported GE into the new economy with his management style, his forward-thinking approach to new technology, and by encouraging creativity among his employees. This book provides a look at what the innovative powerhouse executive has brought to American business and what will ultimately be his legacy. Thorough, authoritative, and absorbing, Welch: An American Icon includes interviews with CEOs at other leading companies who have worked under Welch and been trained by him, as well as interviews with other GE executives.
Janet Lowe (Del Mar, CA) is an investment writer and author who has written sixteen business and biographical works, including the recent Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire-Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger (0-471-24473-2). Ms. Lowe is past editor of the San Diego Daily Transcript and Financial Editor of the San Diego Tribune. More than 200 of her business articles have appeared in such publications as Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.


JANET LOWE is the bestselling author of several business books including Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger (Wiley) and Value Investing Made Easy. Formerly the financial editor of the San Diego Tribune, she has written more than 200 business articles for such publications as Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times.


Preface 7

Acknowledgements 11

Part I The Jack Welch Legacy 13

Chapter One The House of Magic: How Welch Became an American Icon 27

Chapter Two The Gospel of Good Management 49

Part II General Electric Then and Now 69

Chapter Three The Companies General Electric Dumped 81

Chapter Four The Companies General Electric Acquired 93

Chapter Five Building from Within 113

Chapter Six The Globalization of General electric 129

Chapter Seven Wired Welch 147

Chapter Eight The Dark Side of the Legacy 167

Part II The Future 189

Chapter Nine The Meta-Corporation: General Electric after Welch 201

Chapter Ten Welch after General Electric 223

Chapter Eleven Welch’s Place in History 235

Appendixes 245

Appendix A General Electric and Jack Welch: The Chronology 247

Appendix B GE Values 255

Appendix C The CERES Principles 257

Appendix D General Electric Businesses 261

Appendix E General Electric-Nineteen-Year Performance Figures: 1980-1999 275

Notes 277

Index 297


“Readable insights into one of the most admired, and exposed, corporate leaders of recent decades.” (Long Range Planning, June 2004)