Jack Welch: his contribution to process excellence

The superstar CEO, who has died at the age of 84, is fondly remembered by PEX

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Ian Hawkins

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Jack Welch, who died in February, made regular appearances in the pages of PEX Network. His leadership at GE and forthright style gave commentators impressive figures to reference and pithy quotes to explain how he achieved all that he did.

PEX Network contributor William Cohen recalls phone conversations with Welch, whom he describes as: "someone who thought carefully, but was a fearless man of action."

"Drucker liked him because he was unafraid of trying new ideas" says Cohen. "He implemented Drucker’s 'abandonment theory' to such success that it got Drucker’s attention and mine too. In simple terms, it recognizes that resources are always limited and therefore, if you introduce some thing new, you should think about dumping something old and using its resources for the new project."

Such clarity of thought and willingness to see through such theories made Welch a household name.

Amanda Jenkins, Director of Operations at IQPC, remembers: “Jack Welch was our keynote speaker the first year we moved what is now OPEX Week to Orlando.”

“We were at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and we had a large audience of PEX-y people wanting to listen and learn from the Master himself,” says Amanda. “He arrived, did a tour of the exhibit hall, stopping and chatting to each and every one of the exhibitors before heading into the main plenary to give a barnstorming keynote session in his unmistakable Bostonian accent. It was like having a genuine superstar joining us and yet he was so lovely and friendly, albeit with a steely glint in his eye that confirmed his business acumen.”

John Francis 'Jack' Welch Jr: November 19, 1935 – March 1, 2020