Was Jack Welch really an exceptional CEO?

Seems like an heretical question, but it is serious. There is no doubt that he did a great job increasing the value of GE for its shareholders. However, he is also credited with creating a highly vaunted management program that produced outstanding leaders. If that is true, why is it that none of his direct reports has been a successful CEO?

One of the jobs of the CEO is to make sure there is a highly competent successor. Under the GE system, one was led to believe that there could have been more than one. In truth, the one selected has not proven to be a successful CEO for GE, and those who were passed over and went to other companies as CEOs, only distinguished themselves by the bad job they did.

So, again I ask, was Jack Welch an exceptional CEO?


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