On March 1, 2020, the global business community lost one of its most prominent luminaries.
Jack Welch, the man dubbed Manager
of the Century for his successes at General Electric, died age 84.
The former chairman and CEO was fondly remembered by many celebrated business leaders who paid homage to his unmatched run at the helm of one of the world’s most successful organisations.
Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, wrote, “Jack Welch was an extraordinarily successful CEO, who in two decades made General Electric—a legacy company if ever there was one—the most valuable company on Earth.”
Forbes’ sentiments were echoed by Welch’s former employee and Boeing CEO, Dave Calhoun, who told Bloomberg Business, “His influence is felt all across the business landscape.”
The larger-than-life businessman whose career was guided by efficiency and insight was also warmly remembered by President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “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!”
“Jack was an exceptional man and an outstanding leader who had such enormous impact on the role of business in our country.”– Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase
Bob Wright, former vice-chairman at General Electric remembered Welch as brilliant strategist. “He was demanding, exciting, a brilliant strategist and a man of the highest level of energy.”
Current General Electric CEO Lawrence Culp spoke to Welch’s many years at the organisation. “Jack was larger than life and the heart of GE for half a century. 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.”
African business leader Tony Elumelu, tweeted that he ordered 500 copies of Welch’s book ‘Winning’ and shared with his team after a company merger. He described Welch as high priest of corporate leadership and a man for whom he had great respect.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere remembered Welch as, “One of the greatest CEOs of our time, and an incredible leader and motivator to GE and the business world as a whole.”
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase told Reuters, “Jack was an exceptional man and an outstanding leader who had such enormous impact on the role of business in our country. With indefatigable spirit and sound judgment, he led GE through good times and difficult times. And all the while, he stood tall and always did the right thing for his company and his country.”
By Kiwayne Jacobs