Jack Welch Rips On HP’s Board of Directors

Jack Welch is one of the most influential CEOs of his time. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. While working as the CEO of General Electric, he helped raised the market capitalization by over $400 billion.

Welch did not have any kind words about the board of directors at Hewlett Packard this past week. At the World Business Forum in New York, Welch said “The Hewlett-Packard board has committed sins over the last 10 years.” He added “They have not done one of the primary jobs of a board, which is to prepare the next generation of leadership.” Welch added that leadership development at HP had a very low priority.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is on their third CEO in 11 years. Mark Hurd quit in August over expense-report misalignments. The CEO before him, Carly Fiorina, left in 2005 after a controversial tenure when the company lost a lot of their market share in PC sales.

Welch said that it is the job of the board of directors to pick CEOs and help them shape the strategy of the company. And “if the CEO isn’t doing a good job, to ‘get them the hell out of there.'”

“This crowd [at H-P] doesn’t seem to do any of that,” added Welch. “They end up blowing up the CEO’s and don’t have anyone else in mind to come in. Where the hell was the leadership development? Who are these board members?” Earlier this month, HP hired Léo Apotheker as the new CEO. Apotheker was previously the CEO of SAP.


This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
Leave a Comment