John F. Welch, Jr.
Though he had the full support of GE’s board, Welch’s first few years as CEO consisted of extensive cost cutting plans, some of which involved controversial divestitures of GE subsidiaries. Having successfully streamlined the company, Welch had his employees focus on making GE products and services number one or number two in their respective industries. Welch helped GE become one of the most efficient conglomerates of its time, being an industry leader in everything from aircraft engines to television (NBC).

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