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Jack Welch: GE CEO Immelt Has 'Credibility Issue'

Natalie Erlich,|News Associate
Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 | 12:10 PM ET

Jack Welch, former General Electric chairman & CEO, took his replacement, current CEO Jeff Immelt, to task for the company's worse-than-expected first quarter earnings.

Speaking on CNBC, which is owned by GE, Welch said: "Jeff has a credibility issue."

Welch, appearing on "Squawk Box." also shared his thoughts on NAFTA and innovation.

Welch on Immelt's Credibility
Jack Welch, former General Electric chairman & CEO, took his replacement, current CEO Jeff Immelt, to task for the company's worse-than-expected first quarter earnings.

Immelt’s Credibility

“Here's the screw-up. You made a promise that you deliver this. And, you miss three weeks later. Jeff has a credibility issue. He's getting his ass kicked. He apologized. But, let's put GE in perspective... The model isn’t broken. The promise was—the credibility of saying, 'I’m going to do this, and I’m going to deliver it.' He apologized; he did get his ass kicked; and I don’t think he’ll do it again.”

Punching Bag Named NAFTA
Discussing the trade agreement, with Jack Welch, former GE chairman/CEO and CNBC's Carl Quintanilla

Globalization & Competitiveness

“Globalization is good. Globalization makes countries more interdependent on each other. And, the more interdependent we are, the better chances we have for peace. And, globalization will in the end create more competitive environments. Mexico and Canada are our natural allies to be more competitive.”

Parting Shots
Final thoughts on finding innovation, with Jack Welch, former GE chairman/CEO

Welch: Innovation is a Culture

“Everyone thinks someone’s going to go off and stick a finger in a light bulb and have an idea, and have a magic Bill Gates, Sergey Brin. Innovation isn’t like that. Innovation has got to be in the blood of every employee and every company. Finding a better way every day has to be a culture that CEOs drive, business leaders drive… That’s what innovation is. It’s a bubbling up of thousands and thousands of people.”

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