How Jack Welch’s Success Wrecked the Idea of the American Company

The recently deceased business icon pioneered mergers and acquisitions, stock buybacks, and offshoring

General Electric Chairman and CEO John F. Welch speaks during a news conference November 27, 2000, in New York City.
Photo: Chris Hondros/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Under Welch, the company began a policy of firing 10% of its employees every year, as well as spending billions of dollars to buy back stock.

By the 2000s, the company founded by Thomas Edison didn’t even manufacture light bulbs, sourcing them from Chinese contractors and branding them as GE products.

From Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy by Matt Stoller. Copyright © 2019 by Matt Stoller. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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