Born In: Peabody, Massachusetts, U.S
John Francis Welch, Jr., renonwed as Jack Welch in the business world, was chairman and CEO of General Electric. He began his career as a junior chemical engineer at the plastic division of the firm.Though he was not happy during his initial years at the company, he eventually began to enjoy his work and became the vice president and head of GE's plastics division within a few years. He succeeded Reginald H. Jones and became GE's youngest chairman and CEO in 1981. Under his leadership, GE increased its market share manifold. Jack Welch redefined the concept of leadership and created a model for others to follow. His brilliant leadership skills prompted him to write books on the very subject. Some of his books also became international bestsellers. Welch also had his share of controversies, especially at the time of his much publicized divorce from his second wife.
Also Known As: John Francis Welch Jr.
Died At Age: 84
Spouse/Ex-: Suzy Welch (m. 2004), Carolyn B. Osburn (m. 1959–1987), Jane Beasley (m. 1989–2003)
father: John Francis Welch Sr.
mother: Grace Andrews Welch
Born Country: United States
place of death: New York City, New York, U.S.
U.S. State: Massachusetts
Diseases & Disabilities: Stammered / Stuttered
education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1960), University of Massachusetts Amherst (1957), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Salem High School
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Jack Welch joined General Electric in 1960 as a junior chemical engineer in the plastics division. He worked diligently for a year and was hoping for a big raise. When he got a raise of less than what he had expected, he was disappointed and planned to quit.
He was persuaded to stay by an executive, Reuben Gutoff, and he reluctantly agreed. An incident that happened in 1963 almost cost him his job; there was an explosion at a factory building under his management and he was almost fired for this.
He continued working for GE and was made the vice president and head of GE’s entire plastics division in 1968, just eight years after he had joined the company.
Jack Welch was an able leader, though also considered brutal for his firing policies. He would frequently fire employees and was sometimes too strict on them. Yet his leadership strategies worked wonders and the company increased its revenues manifold over the years.
Many of his management and leadership strategies, including his ‘Rank and Yank’ policy, became very popular and soon other companies started following him.
Jack Welch was also an author who wrote several books on management and leadership, including the 2005 bestseller, Winning, which he co-wrote with his third wife, Suzy.
He was named ‘Manager of the Century’ in 1999, by Fortune magazine.
He married Carolyn Osburn in 1959 and had four children with her. The couple divorced after 28 years of marriage in 1987.
He married for the second time in 1989. His second wife, Jane Beasley, was a lawyer. This marriage, too, ended in a divorce in 2003, after his wife came to know about his affair with Suzy Wetlaufer.
Jack Welch married Suzy Wetlaufer in 2004.
Jack Welch died on 1 March 2020, from kidney failure at the age of 84. He was at his home in New York City.
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