Jack Welch, the strongest and most capable CEO in the history of the world, made news last week when he took to his Twitter account (history shall record the phrase "took to his Twitter account" as the five words that immediately precede all news of social media disasters) to accuse the Bureau of Labor Statistics of intentionally cooking its latest jobs report to favor President Barack Obama's chances for reelection in November, writing "Unbelievable jobs numbers...these Chicago guys will do anything...can't debate so change numbers."
While Welch won some support from the right-wing fever swamp, most rational observers saw the remarks as listing toward a certain dementia, and before long, he was doing a semi-backtrack in line with the precepts of Lean Six Sigma. On Sunday, Welch returned to Twitter (in for a penny, I guess!) to say, "Have never commented on White House in any tweets I can recall." Which, I guess exposes the fact that Welch is now having a problem with object permanence.
Well, all of the criticism has apparently gotten to Welch, and now he will, in a fit of pique, take his leave from Fortune magazine and Reuters, where he had previously been a contributor. As Fortune's own Stephen Gandel reports:
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.
Welch apparently ended up at odds with various journalistic institutions that placed a higher premium on providing readers with objectively rational information about the economy, as opposed to flattering an old executive who sows derangement on the Internet. According to Gandel, Welch did not take kindly to a CNN Money piece that criticized Welch's original tweet, and was further angered by a Fortune piece, "detailing Welch's record as a job destroyer."
Gandel goes on to report that after these stories were published, "Welch sent an e-mail to Reuters' Steve Adler and [Fortune managing editor Andy] 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.'"
This was probably the first many of you had heard that Welch and his wife were contributing articles to Reuters and Fortune, but there you go.
READ THE WHOLE THING:
Welch can't take the heat: I quit [Fortune]
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]