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Former GE CEO, chairman built company into powerhouse

Jack Welch, the business luminary who built General Electric into an industrial and financial powerhouse and became known for his aggressive management style, has died, according to CNBC and the New York Times. He was 84.

Welch, who served as chairman and CEO of GE from 1981 to 2001, presided over a massive increase in the company’s stock valuation. In recent years, the company has struggled as it became too unwieldy and Welch’s successors began dismantling the empire that he built.

The Massachusetts native’s death was announced by his wife, Suzy Welch, CNBC reported.

A request seeking comment from GE was not immediately answered Monday.

John F. "Jack" Welch, Jr., served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE) from 1981-2001.

Welch, who was born in 1935, joined GE as a chemical engineer in 1960 after earning degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Illinois.

He quickly rose in the ranks, becoming the company’s youngest vice president in 1972 and earning the title of vice chairman in 1979. He soon succeeded Reginald Jones, becoming the company’s eighth chairman and CEO.

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