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Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of GE, dies at 84

Jack Welch was a railroad conductor's son who rose to chairman and CEO of General Electric

Source | | Marty Steinberg

Jack Welch, a railroad conductor’s son who became chairman and CEO of General Electric and led it for two decades, growing its market value from $12 billion to $410 billion, has died. He was 84.

Welch died late Sunday at home, surrounded by his wife, Suzy, and family, and his beloved dogs nearby. The cause of death was renal failure, his wife said Monday.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences, saying “there was no corporate leader like ‘neutron’ Jack.”

With a determination to win by busting up bureaucratic complacency, Welch earned two titles — “manager of the century,” and “Neutron Jack,” the latter for slashing tens of thousands of jobs. Welch had said he hated the nickname. Under his leadership, GE became the world’s most valuable company, after Microsoft. Its fortunes later turned south.

While at the helm, Welch bought and sold scores of businesses, expanding the industrial giant into financial services and consulting. GE Capital Bank was founded seven years into his tenure. His acquisitions included RCA — then-owner of NBC — and Kidder Peabody, the brokerage that became entangled in an insider trading scandal.

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