Book Reviews

The Man Who Broke Capitalism – David Gelles – 2022

How Jack Welch gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America – and How to Undo His Legacy

Learn what many of us have always suspected about General Electric under Jack Welch’s reign:

  • See how huge layoffs, buying and selling companies, off-shoring and
    financial monkey business gave GE two decades of continually improving earnings.
  • See how intimidation, “rack and sack” staff reduction, and short-term
    thinking destroyed what had been an exemplary culture.
  • See how a lack of long-term planning, elimination of innovation efforts,
    and complete disregard of the labor force eroded the possibility of success in future decades.
  • See how most of the senior executives in the Welch regime failed when
    recruited to run other companies and read many of the individual stories.

The “How to Undo His Legacy” section is simply about common sense management – focusing on the key constituents – employees, customers, and business partners and then planning for the future and innovating wherever possible.

It is sad to see what was at one time the most valuable company in America nearly disappear. This is a well-written book and easy to read however the author leans to the left and that comes through loud and clear in the writing.

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