Jack Welch, former GE CEO, dies

JACK WELCH - WHO built General Electric into one of the world's most valuable companies… becoming one of the MOST INFLUENTIAL CEOs of his generation - has died.

Welch joined GE as a chemical engineer in 1960. Twenty one years later, he took over as the conglomerate's eighth chairman and CEO, a position he would hold for the next two decades. Over that time, GE's market cap soared from $12 billion to $410 billion. Welch helped set the template for the celebrity CEO. He was revered on Wall Street for his focus on results and willingness to make radical changes in pursuit of bigger profits. Under Welch, GE was known for its no-mercy approach to employee assessments and the need to weed out under-performers.

President Donald Trump tweeted, "There was no corporate leader like 'neutron' Jack. He was my friend and supporter."

He was known as "Neutron Jack" for his aggressive restructuring style that resulted in thousands of jobs cuts. Welch would dump businesses that didn't rank near the top of their sector and buy scores of new businesses.

Welch, appearing on Reuters with his wife, Suzy, a business journalist, talked about the importance for leaders to focus on corporate culture and performance.

SOUNDBITE: JACK WELCH, FORMER CHAIRMAN AND CEO, GENERAL ELECTRIC, (ENGLISH) SAYING:

"You have the culture, and you have the numbers, the results. Onward and upward for you. You don't have the culture and you don't have good numbers. That's easy, too. Out the door."

ONE OF HIS BOLDEST MOVES: The acquisition of RCA in 1986 WHICH put GE in the media business for the next 25 years UNTIL IT SOLD A stake in what became NBCUniversal to Comcast in January 2011. Comcast scooped up the remainder of the company in 2013.

In his later years, he wrote several books on management. In 1999, Fortune named him, "Manager of the Century."

Jack Welch was 84.