Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Perception matters.

Finally, some good news in the business pages. It's odd that it should come from a retired CEO whose annual salary was in the $16 million range.

Jack Welch was and is someone whom the Pretender's administration should hold up as a model business leader. Unlike the grasping mobs at Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, etc. etc. he actually created wealth for others. GE's shareholders should love him.

Welch certainly didn't make a huge sacrifice when he "renegotiated" his compensation package with GE's board. He's a rich man; he in no danger of living in penury because of his decision. But as he said, perception does matter. The perception Welch cited was publicity that brings "unwelcome and inaccurate attention to the company."

My god. A former CEO who actually cares about his company at least as much as himself? Compare this to some Enron execs who are demanding additional money from the bankruptcy court even as the ex-employees have lost their life savings thanks to their former "leaders."

The Pretender claimed that "most" business leaders are honest. I have no way of knowing if that's true of course, and I'm not sure how The Pretender defines "honesty." My gut tells me he's wrong. Still, in the midst of the murky smog it's nice to see an occasional shining light. Thank you, Jack Welch.

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