Managerial Leadership: Jack Welch, General Electric Jack Welch became CEO of General Electric at the beginning of the 1980's. Prior to this Jack was the youngest Vice President in 1972, and was named Vice Chairman in 1979. As Successful as GE has been, Jack did not inherit the company without adversity. However, (Byrne, 1998) he "has transformed what was an old-line American industrial giant into a keenly competitive global growth engine" (par 14).
Through much reorganization, he has overcome several barriers. How was he able to do this with such a large organization? My initial answer would be to say "very carefully". Why is Jack Welch a highly recognized CEO? Jack is probably highly regarded for a couple of reasons. Most notably would how he has increased his company's market value from $12 billion in 1981, when he became CEO, to almost $280 billion in 1998. That is some truly amazing success. How did he do this? It is possible that it could stem from his personality alone. (Byrne, 1998) "He does it through sheer force of personality, coupled with an unbridled passion for winning the game of business and a keen attention to details many chieftains would simply overlook" (par 16).
It is also stated that he is very frank and forthright in his meetings. What problems at General Electric did he face when becoming the new CEO? Jack faced, what I believed to be the most important, was GE's lacking competitiveness internationally. In 1985, 20 percent of the company's profits came from operations out of the United States.
Also, consolidation of their major product lines was necessary. GE's mainstay was made up of two-thirds manufacturing and one-third technology and services. It was difficult to manage these 350 major product lines, and services. It made sense to consolidate and reevaluate focus on the company's core products..