Welch can't take the heat: I quitOctober 9, 2012: 12:43 PM ET
The former top GE executive says he will no longer write for Fortune following coverage of his jobs conspiracy tweet.
FORTUNE -- Jack Welch has left our building, metaphorically that is.
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. On Friday, Welch suggested that the Obama administration, calling them "these Chicago guys," had manipulated the monthly jobs report in order to make the economy look better than it actually is just weeks before the election. Welch has been battered by criticism since making the suggestion on Twitter.
Monday morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer said there were a number of things wrong with Welch's tweet, the biggest of which was that the economy doesn't back up the former executive's claim that the numbers were faked.
"I think it's exactly the opposite of what Jack Welch is saying," Serwer said. "Things are actually improving."
CNNMoney, which shares content with Fortune.com, ran a story on Friday covering Welch's tweet. The piece said that even conservative economists thought Welch was wrong to question the jobs numbers. On Tuesday, Fortune.com ran a story detailing Welch's record as a job destroyer. GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs during the 20 years in which Welch ran the company. "I never put myself out there as an employment agency," Welch told Fortune.
Following the story, Welch sent an e-mail to Reuters' Steve Adler and Serwer saying that he and his wife Suzy, who have jointly written for Reuters and Fortune in the past, were "terminating our contract" and will no longer be sending our "material to Fortune." Reuters' story about Welch's tweet quoted money manager and blogger Barry Ritholtz, who said Welch's comments were laughable. Reuters wrote that Ritholtz comments were referring to allegations that Welch regularly manipulated GE's earnings during his tenure as CEO in order to best Wall Street profit estimates.
Fortune tried to contact Welch to find out if the resignation was related to our reporting of his tweet, but Welch didn't return our phone call.
Since leaving GE (GE), Welch has become a media figure, appearing regularly on CNBC and writing opinion pieces along with his wife, which have appeared in Reuters, Fortune and elsewhere.