Jack Welch, the former chairman and CEO of General Electric, has died at the age of 84. He led General Electric from 1981 to 2001. During his tenure, GE's market value increased by around $400 billion.
Welch started working at the company in 1960, a freshly-minted chemical engineering PhD, at a plant in Pittsfield, Mass. He had a starting salary of $10,500.
He came from humble beginnings, the son of a railroad conductor and a stay-at-home mother. Welch was born in 1935 in Peabody, Massachusetts.
After joining GE, he quickly rose the ranks. In 2001, Welch retired from his position as CEO with a $417 million severance package.
Welch whipped a struggling industrials company into a global leader by implementing widespread change and intense cost-cutting that earned him the nickname "Neutron Jack."
Welch is survived by his wife, Suzy Welch, and four children.
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