Pontifications: Two books discover GE’s fall from grace

Lights Out: Pleasure, Delusion, and the Fall of Normal Electrical

By Thomas Greta and Ted Mann

Mariner Books, $17.99, 361 pages

The Man Who Wrecked Capitalism, How Jack Welch Broke Hearts, Destroyed Company America, and The best way to Undo His Legacy

By David Gelles

Simon & Schuster, $28.00, 264 pages

August 1, 2022 © Leeham Information: Two latest books about GE and its most iconic CEO, Jack Welch, provide completely different focuses and attention-grabbing insights.

By Scott Hamilton

One, lights out is an in depth chronicle of the Welch period and past. This e-book is rather more detailed than Gelles, which is extra Welch biography than company historical past, however there’s a dusting of each.

Gelles, newspaper reporter New York Instances, There may be some dialogue of Boeing and the individuals who have been influenced by Welch who led Boeing, specifically Jim McNerney and David Calhoun. However do not count on Gelles’ e-book to delve deeply into how Welch’s upbringing of McNerney and Calhoun influenced Boeing. The dialogue is superficial. That is, in any case, a Welch-centric e-book.

Curse portray

Gelles exhibits how executives who left GE to grow to be CEOs at firms aside from GE destroyed better shareholder worth (GE’s mantra) of their new positions. Satirically, Gelles notes that for all his criticism of McNerney, with regards to shareholder worth, McNerney raised it at Boeing in contrast to every other Welch.

lights out alternatively, Boeing is barely talked about, and McNerney is talked about solely in passing. Calhoun is talked about solely as soon as. However the GE story is extra nuanced The sunshine goes out In line with Gelles’s e-book. That is to be anticipated whenever you understand that the authors are enterprise reporters Wall Avenue Journal, whereas Gelles’s employer is for a normal viewers.

Gelles’ story takes a extra private have a look at Welch, going again to his childhood and taking a more in-depth have a look at what formed his character. He cites a superb instance of how not solely have boards of administrators sought GE executives to run their firms, however different companies have imitated GE’s enterprise mannequin. The sunshine goes out extra of a company occasion.


Gelles writes concerning the tradition at GE and the way it seeped into different firms, together with a cursory have a look at its affect on Boeing. The sunshine goes out It would not make the connection deliberately, particularly since Boeing is a figurative reference. However studying both e-book or each, the tradition and enterprise practices at GE are very acquainted to what emerged at Boeing, as a result of GE practices have been first launched by GE alumnus Harry Stonecipher from 1997, after which by McNerney, not even anybody else. GE CEO Dennis Muilenburg. This isn’t a praise.

A broader view of GE’s tradition comes from an previous e-book, Classes from the Titans Melius co-authored the examine with CEO Scott Davis. Davis recounts how GE tried to fireplace him for a detrimental analysis observe when he was at Morgan Stanley. That is one thing Boeing tried in 2007 or 2008 with a brand new reporter Worldwide flight earlier than he reported for the job as a result of Boeing was dissatisfied with an earlier report on the 787’s growth difficulties. The cultural parallels between GE and Boeing, outlined within the three books, are stark.

The sunshine goes out and Welch’s e-book is properly price studying. The sunshine goes out is a little bit of a slog. Gelles will need you extra. The selection is yours.

Air battles

my e-book Air wars, the worldwide battle between Airbus and Boeing, tells the story of the 33-year rivalry between the 2 rivals and the affect John Leahy had on each throughout these 33 years. The e-book is a quasi-biography of Leahy and a sequel to the 1982 e-book. sports activities sport, It was thought of the seminal historical past of the rivalry between Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed and Airbus, which was solely 12 years previous on the time.

Air battles Rated 4.5 out of 5 by readers on Amazon and 4.3 on Goodreads. The e-book can be among the many high 10 reads of 2021, together with the celebrated Royal Aeronautical Society.

Royal Aeronautical Society

Listed in TOP 10 Aerospace Books for Christmas Picks, 2021

Puget Sound Enterprise Journal

(Seattle space.) #1 on Christmas listing of aerospace books for 2021.


#1 on our listing of the perfect new aerospace ebooks to learn in 2022.

Chris Sloan, Archives

John Newhouse’s 1982 e-book A Respectable Sequel to ‘Sports activities Recreation’ was thought of the definitive e-book on the rivalry between Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and the fledgling Airbus.

Jim Sheehan, Aviation Trade Advisor

There may be a lot mannequin and OEM knowledge that it’s positive to be required studying for anybody wanting to know the previous fifty or extra years of business aviation expertise.

Liked all of the quotes and tales.

Dan Catchpole, aviation author

Air Wars is a behind-the-scenes tour of the worldwide rivalry between Boeing and Airbus, and is, partly, the biography of John Leahy, Airbus’s chief salesman, who compelled Boeing’s hand to relaunch the 737. Longtime aerospace analyst and journalist Scott Hamilton takes readers by way of the twists and turns of the decades-long battle between the 2 firms.

Dan Reed, aviation author

Utilizing John Leahy’s lengthy and monumental profession as a automobile to inform readers concerning the 51-year battle between Airbus and Boeing is an attention-grabbing and provoking selection by the creator.

Air battles Out there in paperback and e-book kind at Amazon and in paperback at Barnes & Noble.

About the author


Leave a Comment