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5 Forever or Forgotten: The Legacy of Today's VIPs - Part 2


Will Fortune Magazine's "Manager of the Century" be remembered in the next century? Sorry Jack, no. And now even Fortune seems to agree.

If anything, Jack Welch should be remembered as the most God-blessed lucky manager of the century. He was born in 1935, the birth-year that according to Malcolm Gladwell best-positioned a man to make a mint; he joined General Electric (GE) as a plastics engineer at the height of the " one-word: 'plastics' era;" and he became CEO in 1981 at the dawn of Reagan prosperity, and left in 2001 when 9/11 caused the easy-money gravy train to shudder to a stop.

Since then, Welch's Irish luck has run out. "Neutron Jack's" strategy of downsizing to the bone, shipping jobs overseas, focusing on shareholders vs. stakeholders and betting on the bubble-prone financial services sector seems to embody every bad decision that spawned the "Great Recession."

Are you an unemployed middle manager? Are you laboring under the load of three laid-off colleagues? Are you a long-term contractor sans benefits and pension? Well, you can thank Jack Welch for launching the trends that sealed your fate. But don't take my word for it. The Street columnist Nat Worden has a similar take on the waning of Welch. 
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