Welch's Big Day at HBS

Jack Welch had a big day on campus last Friday. After a brief reception at the Dean’s House, he spoke for over an hour to a packed Burden Auditorium (as well as the overflow crowd in Spangler).

Welch’s inquisitor, Jason Lockwood (OF), found the experience exciting, but challenging. “It was a fantastic experience,” he said. “Because everyone knows the GE story and has read the management advice of Jack Welch, you find yourself looking for a new angle. The challenge was to coax from Jack Welch the raw bits of wisdom that haven’t been packaged and rehearsed.” “As I am sure the audience observed, Jack Welch doesn’t go anywhere he doesn’t want to go.”

Following a book signing at the Coop, Welch continued his tour of campus with a meeting in Baker Library with GE alumni who are current students (see photo). Welch chatted for about 30 minutes with the students, checking on their career plans and encouraging them to return to GE.
Finally, even though he was already an hour late, Welch agreed to hold an interview with Harbus reporter Lea Carpenter (NK).
Carpenter had contacted Welch’s long-time secretary prior to his arrival and scheduled a coveted audience with the mega-CEO. “He could not have been more gracious,” Carpenter commented.