Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch says Apple deserves better than the treatment it’s getting from David Einhorn, the hedge-fund manager pressuring the iPhone maker to cough up dividends. “Look, these guys are after a quick hit. I’d blow him off,” he told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “I’d give Einhorn the back of my hand.” Welch said he had the same kind of problem with activist investors while heading GE. “They’d come after us, ‘What are you going to do with all that cash?’ Well, we’re going to do a smart thing! Trust us!” Welch said. [CNBC, related, related]
If David Einhorn Pulled The Same Stunt On GE That He Pulled On Apple You Can Bet He’d Be Receiving A Western Union Telegram From Grandpa Welch Telling Him To ‘Knock It Off’By Bess Levin
One day before the presidential election, the former General Electric Co. chief executive officer again suggested that government figures on employment are being manipulated for political gain. “Every fact says we don’t have a booming economy,” Welch said today in an interview on CNBC. “Something’s wacky here. I didn’t think it was right.” [Bloomberg, earlier]
If He Could, Jack Welch Would Go Back In Time And Acquire Time Inc Just To Fire The Entire Fortune Staff The Next DayBy Bess Levin
Jack 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…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…Following the story, Welch sent an e-mail to Reuters’ Steve Adler and Serwer saying that he and his wife Suzy, who have jointly written for Reuters and Fortune in the past, were “terminating our contract” and will no longer be sending our “material to Fortune.” Reuters’ story about Welch’s tweet quoted money manager and blogger Barry Ritholtz, who said Welch’s comments were laughable. Reuters wrote that Ritholtz comments were referring to allegations that Welch regularly manipulated GE’s earnings during his tenure as CEO in order to best Wall Street profit estimates. [Fortune, related]
Retired Man Only Has Time To Start Conspiracy Theories About The Jobs Numbers Being Cooked, Not To Defend ThemBy Bess Levin
Jack Welch, writing on his Twitter account, said the Obama administration manipulated U.S. employment data for political gain by showing a drop in the jobless rate. “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” the former General Electric chief executive officer said in a message posted immediately after the U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. The Obama administration denied the allegation as baseless and defended the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which computes the figures…Welch is in meetings today and isn’t available for comment, said Rosanne Badowski, his executive assistant. She said Welch is the only one with access to the Twitter account. [Bloomberg]
“Be likable. Just that. Fun, upbeat, friendly, authentic, filled with positive energy, happy, agreeable, chit-chatty about sports and the weather and The Avengers, or frankly, whatever everyone at your company likes to be chit-chatty about. Get in the game and play, even literally, if there’s a softball game to be had. Let people know you. Let them hear you laugh. Let them see your humanity.” [Reuters]
1. What does he bench?
2. Would it have killed the photographer to get a shot of him wailing on his pecs?
3. Does that polo wick sweat?
4. How does he find the motivation on the days working out is the last thing he wants to do?
5. Will there be a follow-up story and series of photos featuring him going head to head with James D. Robinson III (far left), the former chairman of American Express who “can leg-press 900 pounds, leaving fellow gym members in awe.” (“I wanted to do 1,000, but they wouldn’t let me,” Robinson told the Times.) Read more »
Charlie Gasparino Almost Got His Brains Blown Out For Breaking News During The Financial Crisis, But Not LiterallyBy Bess Levin
During the financial crisis, the markets were on edge. This was before the big firms blew up, I remember saying on the air, “Well, you’re going to get some commentary from teh ratings agencies.” The companies that were insuring all the big banks just didn’t have the money to insure them. So basically they all lost their triple-A ratings. I said that and the market moved 200 points. I remember walking into San Pietro, a restaurant in Manhattan where a lot of these guys had lunch and I saw Jack Welch, who came up to me and said, “Charlie, you’re doing great but watch this whole notion of moving the markets. Just watch it or you’ll get your brains blown out.” I said, “Literally?” He said, “No, but it’s a dangerous, dangerous thing.” [New Canaan-Darien Magazine]
“Free money in the hands of very smart people for too long is going to create something that’s not very pleasant,” Welch said. “I don’t know what it exactly is. But every time we get free money to lots of people who are very, very smart and know how to use it you end up with a bubble or a problem that we don’t quite see in front of us.” [CNBC]
A few years back, Jack Welch met a man named Michael Clifford at a party. Clifford is the lead investor in the Chancellor University System, LLC, and over shrimp puffs educated Welch on the merits of online schools. Jackles was not initially sold. But, he told the Wall Street Journal, he was impressed with the University of Phoenix, the Harvard of the Internet, which is owned by the Apollo Group, and after a little research decided he wanted in. Welch cut Clifford a check for $2 million and in exchange got his name and face stamped on the school’s MBA program, AKA “The Jack Welch Management Institute.” We first learned of this exciting opportunity in June 2009, before things were officially up and running. There were a few kinks to work out and then time passed and no one said anything about it and eventually we forgot about the whole thing and kind of figured Welch said “fuck it, I don’t feel like doing this anymore.”
Then today during an interview with Bloomberg, Welch mentioned that things are “really starting to take off. We’re getting students from around the world…it’s thrilling.” A quick search indicates Jackles speaks truth. The JWMI has a whole website with courses and whatnot, where tomorrow’s “winners” (that’s what Jack calls them) are being groomed. Read more »
In fact, if you must know? Welch thinks Obama’s done a “horrible” job with this thing. Too many “photo-ops,” not enough “solutions.” If Welch were dealing with this, he says he’d set up the “five best people in exploration and production” in an office space across the street from the White House. He’d visit them “between 5 and 6 every night” to check their progress, and he wouldn’t let them come out until they’d figured out how to fix this thing. Unfortunately Welch has his hands tied getting his online business school off the ground, and doesn’t have the time to deal with himself.