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  Family   Money   Health   Work   Play   Shop   Expert Advice  
 
  Home �>�Behind the Movers: Jack Welch  
 
       
Jack
Welch
  Mark
Leslie
  Steve
Case
  Andy
Grove
  Anita
Roddick
 

MOVER: Jack Welch
AGE: 65
JOB: Chairman and CEO of General Electric
FAMILY
: Wife, Jane; four adult children from previous marriage
EDUCATION
: University of Massachusetts, B.S., chemical engineering, 1957; University of Illinois, M.S. and Ph.D., chemical engineering.


DISTINCTION
: Welch's business acumen is legendary. He grew GE's market capitalization from $14 billion to $400 billion, making it the most valuable company in the world.

Q
: Part of your process is this brutal honesty that you use when dealing with employees on issues of performance and attitude. Has that never been uncomfortable?

A
: False kindness is the cruelest form of management. Give somebody a nice appraisal, tell them they're doing fine. But, don't give them a great raise knowing they're not very good. Let the next guy take care of him, fire him. What happens in Corporate America with that behavior? People would get to their 50s, when their obligations are at their highest. Kids in school, options limited, because they're older. And people tell them, "Well, you're not very good." And the guy says, "Well, wait a minute. I've got 20 years of nice appraisals." That's what we had in 1981 here. As we cleaned out the bureaucracy, I had a lot of people that truly had a justifiable reason to feel victimized. They had been told that they were great. And that is false kindness, because you're just leaving it to somebody else to take care of.


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