“Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it to be.”
John Francis “Jack” Welch, Jr. was born on November 19, 1935 in Peabody, Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in chemical engineering, and Master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Immediately after the end of the studies, he joined the General Electric Company as a technician. He remained faithful to the company all his life, and gradually worked his way up to the position of CEO.
His career was relatively quick. When development of new plastic was finished, on which Welch participated, he became a director of the factory on its production. Shortly afterwards, he became head of plastics across General Electric.
In 1972 he became vice president and in 1981 he became the youngest CEO and chairman of General Electric.
As a head of the company he started its dramatic reorganization. He followed the motto that in fields where GE can’t be number one or two in the world, it will not operate at all. Gradually he sold unsuitable parts of the company for $ 16 billion, but at the same time made purchases for $ 46 billion.
Welch is positively evaluated not only for its economic outcomes, but also for vision and outstanding leadership (see, for example Jack Welch Matrix). During the nineties, he successfully implemented Six Sigma methodology in GE.
Fortune magazine named Jack Welch as “Manager of the century” in 1999.