When Jack Welch ran GE, he was hailed as the CEO of the Century. Now that his successor is stepping down, there are questions about how Welch ran the company and whether he accidentally set up Jeff Immelt to have troubles.  The truth is that when Jack ran the business, it was a finance company with manufacturing.  When Immelt took over and after the financial markets crashed, he had to turn it back to a manufacturing company that also did financing.  It was back to the future for Immelt and GE’s stock suffered.  Now the new CEO coming in has said he is going to evaluate all of GE’s units to see which will stay and which will be dumped.  It seems he will make GE into a sharply focused manufacturing conglomerate to better compete.  Welch was accurate when he said his success would be determined by how Immelt would grow the company in the next 20 years.  He couldn’t have foreseen the effects of 9/11 and 2008 and how those events slammed GE.  He was realistic enough to know that the future was tenuous.  His legacy years later is not what it once was.

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