Welch Rage Quits Fortune, Goes to Murdoch


Well this is hardly surprising news. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, has rage quit his position as a contributor to Reuters and Fortune after harsh criticism of his idiotic claim that the Obama administration had cooked the jobs numbers last week to help them politically.

Jack Welch has left our building, metaphorically that is.

Welch said he will no longer contribute to Fortune following critical coverage of the former CEO of General Electric, saying he would get better “traction” elsewhere. On Friday, Welch suggested that the Obama administration, calling them “these Chicago guys,” had manipulated the monthly jobs report in order to make the economy look better than it actually is just weeks before the election. Welch has been battered by criticism since making the suggestion on Twitter…

CNNMoney, which shares content with Fortune.com, ran a story on Friday covering Welch’s tweet. The piece said that even conservative economists thought Welch was wrong to question the jobs numbers. On Tuesday, Fortune.com ran a story detailing Welch’s record as a job destroyer. GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs during the 20 years in which Welch ran the company. “I never put myself out there as an employment agency,” Welch told Fortune.

Guess where he’s going? The Wall Street Journal, now owned by Rupert Murdoch. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes a major Fox News contributor.

Comments

  1. raven says

    todays headline:

    Stocks Get Lift From Decline in Jobless Claims

    I thought the timing of the unemployment rate was a bit convenient myself.

    But it is consistent with other data. Unemployment claims are down too. The economy is showing slight signs of life as well.

    GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs during the 20 years in which Welch ran the company.

    This is true of most large,old companies.

    They become more productive over time and need less people. The vast majority of new jobs come from…new companies.

  2. Aratina Cage says

    I really worry for his health after this morning’s unemployment report.

    Too funny, but also sad to see another crank in the making.

  3. Trebuchet says

    As a former employee of a large company nearly ruined by Welch sycophants, I have nothing but contempt for that clown. He not only got rid of 100,000 jobs (largely by sending them overseas), he’s proud of it. He’ll probably be Secretary of Commerce in the Romney administration.

  4. Michael Heath says

    raven writes:

    I thought the timing of the unemployment rate was a bit convenient myself.

    Only for those that don’t watch rate trends over the years at the granularity level of months. Sept. normally sees a big spike in jobs, much of them part-time. While this September’s was bigger than the last two Septembers when it comes to part-time jobs, it wasn’t all that much bigger.

  5. Michael Heath says

    Trebuchet writes:

    [Jack Welch will] probably be Secretary of Commerce in the Romney administration.

    While Mr. Welch was an extremely competent CEO of historic proportions, he’s presently far too feeble to take on a day to day job. In fact he was exhibiting a loss of mental acuity years ago. He now reminds me of the respected scientist who came out for creationism after he too had lost much of his faculties (I forgot his name).

  6. says

    In fact he was exhibiting a loss of mental acuity years ago.

    Which makes him all the more suitable for a Murdoch rag whose purpose is to tell other feeble-minded rich scum what they want to hear.

  7. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #7

    Oh what a lively debate ole Heath could have with a former commenter over at Matt Yglesias’ blog, one Don Williams, a former GE employee. I would pay to read that! Don’s opinion of Jack Welch was even lower then his opinion of Dubya. Ole Don and I used to have some two fisted slugfests (metaphorically speaking) over US Middle East policy.

  8. typecaster says

    He now reminds me of the respected scientist who came out for creationism after he too had lost much of his faculties (I forgot his name). – Michael Heath

    So did he….

  9. Michael Heath says

    Raging Bee writes:

    Now this job-destroying hypocrite has a “respectable” platform for his self-serving lies.

    What information are you relying on to call Mr. Welch a ‘job-destroyer’?

  10. Michael Heath says

    typecaster writes:

    So did he….

    A new lesson! Reminds me of the importance of being grammatically correct when correcting another’s grammer, the former a near-impossible task when doing the latter. In this case, best to not show memory loss when noting another’s. Now how do I remember this lesson?

  11. richardrathbun says

    Today I learned that “Rage Quit” is a verb. Whereas initially I thought Welch’s rage had become sentient, or otherwise capable of agency.

    As to his faculties, at least he can still “feel” and “smell”, especially numbers.

  12. Chiroptera says

    Huh. If the unemployment figures were really as bad as Welch seems to think, you’d’ve thought he wouldn’t have found a new position so quickly.

  13. naturalcynic says

    One of the reasons that GE has decreased the number of employees is that they have changed from a mostly manufacturing conglomerate to one that gets most of its revenue from financial services. Moving from making things to shuffling money. Welch was a prime mover in this change in direction. Long article from NYT from last year explains a lot

  14. Ichthyic says

    The Wall Street Journal, now owned by Rupert Murdoch.

    how did I miss that?

    *removes WSJ from newsfeed*

  15. Michael Heath says

    Raging Bee defends his description of Jack Welch:

    Heath: if you support Republican economic policies, and the mindset behind them, you’re a “job-destroyer.”

    So was Jack Welch a ‘job-destroyer’ back when he was CEO of GE; even if he supported Republicans at that time? Or did becoming a job-destroyer for supporting GOP policies given a change in the Republican party?

    I don’t find this descriptor fits Mr. Welch or any successful executive who was focused in manufacturing, even those who outsource unless you framed your argument within the U.S. and even then such criticism would be very difficult to defend given comparative advantages which lead to greater long-term growth of all trading partners. Such growth will transform the labor market, e.g., we don’t need near as many farmers as we used to produce far more food, so I guess that makes John Deere “job-destroyers” as well. Your defense seems to me to deepen the hole you started.

  16. bmiller says

    You know…couldn’t find it again, but I read a brief “business bio” of the HEROIC Job Creator Jack Welch who pointed out that Welch did nothing more than build upon longstanding GE traditions…except for his pushing financial gambling (GE Capital-which has now largely collapsed in value)…He was paid $20 million PLUS given free housing, food, transportation, medical care etc etc. etc. The preceding CEO, who did GE just as well, earned $500,000.

    The current CEO class is a mafia, who collaborate together to make sure most of the gains trickle up to their class…typically their friends and colleagues.

    So…Jack Welch was not the great guy that modern mythology claims. He’s another financial speculator who made out like a bandit himself…the communities and workers of GE…collateral damage!

  17. bmiller says

    Ah…did not see that natural cynic makes similar points.

    And no, Mr. Heath…moving money around (gambling, basically) is not the same positive thing economically as doing real things.

    Except for The Owners, the rentier class which now runs the world.

  18. Trebuchet says

    @22: All of that largess in his retirement plan was being kept secret by the company of course, until it came out in his divorce proceedings after he had an affair with a journalist half his age.

    @Michael Heath: Welch is actually proud of destroying (American) jobs! My former company for a while had a video on its intranet of Welch giving a speech at my company’s training center for aspiring managers. They didn’t intend just anybody to watch it, but it was available and word spread very fast. He was particularly pleased, IIRC, about getting rid of engineers in Cleveland and sending their jobs to India.

  19. Michael Heath says

    Trebuchet writes:

    Welch is actually proud of destroying (American) jobs! My former company for a while had a video on its intranet of Welch giving a speech at my company’s training center for aspiring managers. They didn’t intend just anybody to watch it, but it was available and word spread very fast. He was particularly pleased, IIRC, about getting rid of engineers in Cleveland and sending their jobs to India.

    So you never took any economics at all eh? I even provided a giant hint in my last post in hopes I wouldn’t have to observe people punching themselves in the face. Sheesh.

  20. Trebuchet says

    So you never took any economics at all eh?

    I happen to believe that humanism, and even patriotism, should trump short-term economics, the only kind the Welches of this world are interested in. You obviously do not. Why do you even come to this site?

    BTW, Welch was NOT focused on manufacturing, except to the extent he bought into the Harvard Business School philosophy that all manufacturing is bad unless it’s done by someone else’s employees in a third world country under near-slave-labor conditions.

  21. Michael Heath says

    Trebuchet writes:

    I happen to believe that humanism, and even patriotism, should trump short-term economics, the only kind the Welches of this world are interested in. You obviously do not.

    Well you are obviously wrong about me. I just happen to realize, which you demonstrate not knowing, that global economic growth is one of the finest aspects of being an authentic humanist. A humanist who actually cares about the wellbeing of humans in general; be they American, Indian, German, Russian, Afghani, Mexican, Malay, Chinese or some other nationality. And the engine that drives such growth is partly due to companies increasing their productivity, both in their capital and labor inputs. That such growth increases the wellbeing of humanity in general, but requires constant adaptation of both the labor market and capital inputs.

    Trebuchet writes:

    Why do you even come to this site?

    I’m not sure what your point here is. Are you looking for a site where everybody agrees with everybody else? One where determined ignorance reigns so people don’t have to adapt their positions if they’re arguments are found wanting? We’ve had more “shut up!” comment posts since Ed’s moved from scienceblogs.com , in direct contradiction to rebuttals worth considering. Which are you? You appear to be looking for some epistemic closure like conservatives cocoon themselves into; is that really what you want?

    I suggest reading on the economic impacts of comparative advantage and how the success of companies who benefit from increased productivity translates into an acceleration of growth and benefits beyond that one company.

  22. says

    I just happen to realize, which you demonstrate not knowing, that global economic growth is one of the finest aspects of being an authentic humanist.

    That’s what every entrepreneur says whenever anyone criticizes anything they do, and it’s pure simpleminded bullshit whose sole purpose is to silence adult debate. Yes, economic growth is good, but that doesn’t mean everything done in the name of “growth” is good and beyond question.

    And the engine that drives such growth is partly due to companies increasing their productivity, both in their capital and labor inputs. That such growth increases the wellbeing of humanity in general…

    Not when it results in large numbers of humans being excluded from the system. The purpose of a political-economic system is to serve the material needs of people; and if large numbers of people are simply not allowed to be part of the system, then it’s not serving its purpose and needs to be changed. Efficiency is important, but it’s not more important than human needs.

  23. Michael Heath says

    Me earlier to Trebuchet:

    I just happen to realize, which you demonstrate not knowing, that global economic growth is one of the finest aspects of being an authentic humanist.

    Raging Bee writes:

    That’s what every entrepreneur says whenever anyone criticizes anything they do, and it’s pure simpleminded bullshit whose sole purpose is to silence adult debate. Yes, economic growth is good, but that doesn’t mean everything done in the name of “growth” is good and beyond question.

    It’s ironic that you falsely claim I’m trying to silence someone when the very person I was responding to wrote in the very thread I was rebutting:

    Why do you even come to this site?

    I’m also highly skeptical even a relative handful of entrepreneurs even think about global economic growth and its contribution to humanism, let all all of them as you claim. In fact my biggest beef with business leaders is many of them who pontificate on politics defectively conflate business principles with economic principles, unaware the two are often distinctly different. Mitt Romney is Exhibit A; Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman would be Exhibits B and C. Our MI governor whose background is business actually gets it, which seems to me the exception more than the norm.

    Lastly I never claimed “everything done in the name of growth” is good and beyond question. So nice strawman you’re pummeling there. Though I must concede, whatever you pummel is always interesting to observe.

    Me earlier to Trebuchet writes:

    And the engine that drives such growth is partly due to companies increasing their productivity, both in their capital and labor inputs. That such growth increases the wellbeing of humanity in general…

    Raging Bee responds:

    Not when it results in large numbers of humans being excluded from the system. The purpose of a political-economic system is to serve the material needs of people; and if large numbers of people are simply not allowed to be part of the system, then it’s not serving its purpose and needs to be changed. Efficiency is important, but it’s not more important than human needs.

    I agree. Your point here in no way rebuts what I wrote. Instead it’s clear that Trebuchet seems to think a more productive GE somehow comes out as a net loss to humanity if that productivity comes with less U.S. headcount. But even Econ 200-level students are presented with convincing evidence that the world is a far more complex reality and that such productivity gains in one are that subsequently requires less people far more often than not opens the door to more and better opportunities in other areas. And that’s not mere theoretical theory, we empirically and continually observe this in action.

  24. says

    …such productivity gains in one are that subsequently requires less people far more often than not opens the door to more and better opportunities in other areas.

    Two little problems with that bit of happy-talk: first, the technology of manufacturing is changing, radically, to the point where we can no longer count on new jobs being created to replace the old. And second, how can we just blithely assume more jobs will be created, when everyone in every sector is constantly looking to do more with FEWER workers? This is starting to sound like another case of everyone expecting someone else to hire the people they no longer need — and, of course, crying the blues about the job-killing burden of paying taxes to either feed or employ the people who they’ve classified as “waste.”

  25. says

    Michael Heath:

    Jack Welch is a prick.

    His “humanity” left that infirm husk a looooooooooong time ago.

    America’s businesses pretty much seem to be looking to Major League sports (particularly football with its compensation structure) for their cues on employer/employee relations.

    In Major League sports you can make obscene amounts of money if you’re one of the very few players who has “it” in terms of skills and marketability. Just don’t get sick or injured.

    The only real difference is that there are only several hundreds to a few thousand employees who have “it” in any large industrial/manufacturing or services company. The rest of the ants? well, fuck them, they should be glad for the crumbs that fall from the table.

    People like Jack Welch are the reason that unions ARE necessary. Otherwise the workers just get fucked until such time when somebody else can be fucked for even less, then they’re dumped.

    I don’t really think that you view Jack Welch as a heroic type but he really is a vile fucking excuse for a human being. The sooner an asshole like him dies to make the world a slightly less nasty place, the better.

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