Jack Welch, famed former CEO of General Electric, has been admitted to New York Presbyterian hospital with a bacterial infection. He will be hospitalized for a week, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Welch began his career at GE in 1960; 21 years later, he became the youngest CEO in the history of the company. During his subsequent 20-year career as CEO, he became famous for his brash -- sometimes brutal -- management style. In the first five years of his tenure, Welch shed over 112,000 employees, and he continued to fire the lowest-performing 10 percent of his managers every year. In the process, he streamlined GE, expanded it into financial services, and transformed it into the most valuable and largest company in the world.
In terms of pure numbers, Welch raised GE's revenues from $26.8 billion in 1980 to $130 billion in 2000. In terms of market value, the company went from $14 billion to $410 billion. Welch became one of the stars of American business, and was named Fortune magazine's "Manager of the Century" in 1999.
Since his retirement, Welch has largely been involved in education. In addition to teaching a yearly class at MIT's Sloan School of Management, he has become directly involved in business programs at two schools. The first, Sacred Heart University name its college of business after him in 2006; along with his imprimatur, he gave the school the largest endowment in its history. The second, program, Chancellor University's Jack Welch Management Institute, offers an MBA that is based in Welch's business philosophy.
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