“Jack Welch has left our building, metaphorically that is,” the magazine’s senior editor, Stephen Gandel, wrote Tuesday. “Welch said he will no longer contribute to Fortune following critical coverage of the former CEO of General Electric, saying he would get better ‘traction’ elsewhere.”
Welch’s Oct. 5 Twitter post saying calling the recent unemployment rate drop to 7.8 percent “unbelievable” and saying “These Chicago guys will do anything” attracted criticism from some circles, particularly after he admitted he had no evidence to back up his claim.
That criticism also came from Fortune itself; Gandel noted that the magazine’s managing editor, Andy Serwer, criticized Welch’s allegation during a Tuesday morning appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“I think it’s exactly the opposite of what Jack Welch is saying,” Serwer said of the findings by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Things are actually improving.”
Gandel himself criticized Welch’s jobs record while he was at the helm of GE.
“GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs while Welch was at the helm of the company — a tenure that spanned two of the most robust periods of economic growth in American business history,” he said in his Tuesday piece for the magazine. “Welch, who along with his wife Suzy has written articles for Fortune, took over as CEO of GE in 1981. At the time, the industrial giant had 411,000 employees. When Welch left the company 20 years later, it had just 313,000 employees.”
By comparison, Gandel said, President Barack Obama’s administration was a mild job creator, with one BLS report saying the country had gained 800,000 jobs during his term, and another more narrow survey of employers finding that the economy had lost 61,000 jobs since he took office.
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