Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Puzzling Critique

Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO and apparent Alec Baldwin character basis, appeared on Morning Joe yesterday.

JACK WELCH: This guy is locked in another world. And he’s throwing all these initiatives into this game in the middle of a crisis. Focus on the crisis! Focus on the economy!

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: You could argue all these initiatives are inter-related–energy, health care –

WELCH: Get out of here! They’re not related at all!

BRZEZINSKI: Did he just say that?

WELCH: Right now they’re not related. Right now it’s the economy, Mika. It’s the economy. It’s getting the banks going. It’s a clear message to everybody: all hands on deck. We have a crisis: let’s deal with this. Not one day, carbon tax. One day, take the kids out of the Washington schools. I mean it’s, it’s crazy!
This is puzzling on a couple of levels. For starters, one of the reasons that Obama won the election so handily is that he made a conspicuous point of being able to do "two things at once" in September, while McCain dropped everything to help push through that bank bailout. How'd that work out for you, gramps? So if this is just a talking point and not a sincere criticism, then it's pretty ill-advised.

But even weirder, General Electric? What does that company specialize in? What product has their laser-sharp focus? Light bulbs? Appliances? NBC? Medical equipment? Publishing? Surplus question marks?

Hell no! They do ALL that stuff, and as a result they're one of the strongest companies in America. They're diversified, and they can synergize and maximize to degrees that un-integrated companies can only dream of. I wonder what it was like when Jack ran it?

(By the way, I've still got another hundred question marks left from this post that I'm putting on eBay. Want one? Wait, 99.)

1 comment:

wamk said...

Well, when Jack ran GE, it was respected, and worth something. I recall owning GE stock in the late 90's, and it trading around $60-70 a share (after it split). After he left GE, I unloaded my shares. God think, too. Today, it trades around $7 a share.

Immelt has killed the brand that was GE.