Term Sheet

The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley

Welch can't take the heat: I quit

October 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.

Jack Welch

Jack Welch

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.

MORE: Obama trounces Jack Welch's jobs record

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.

Join the Conversation
About This Author
Stephen Gandel
Stephen Gandel

Stephen Gandel has covered Wall Street and investing for over 15 years. He joins Fortune from sister publication TIME, where he was a senior business writer and lead blogger for The Curious Capitalist. He has also held positions at Money and Crain's New York Business. Stephen is a four-time winner of the Henry R. Luce Award. His work has also been recognized by the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the New York State Society of CPA and the Association of Area Business Publications. He is a graduate of Washington University, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Email | @stephengandel | RSS
Current Issue
  • Give the gift of Fortune
  • Get the Fortune app
  • Subscribe
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.