Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric

October 29, 2020
Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric

How could General Electric - perhaps America's most iconiccorporation - suffer such a swift and sudden fall from grace?This is the definitive history of General Electric's epicdecline, as told by the two Wall Street Journal reporters whocovered its fall.Since its founding in 1892, GE has been more than just acorporation. For generations, it was job security, a solidly safeinvestment, and an elite business education for top managers.GE electrified America, powering everything from lightbulbs toturbines, and became fully integrated into the American societalmindset as few companies ever had. And after two decades ofleadership under legendary CEO Jack Welch, GE entered the 21stcentury as America's most valuable corporation. Yet, fewer than twodecades later, the GE of old was gone.Lights Out examines how Welch's handpicked successor, JeffImmelt, tried to fix flaws in Welch's profit machine, whilestumbling headlong into mistakes of his own. In the end, GE'straditional win-at-all-costs driven culture seemed to lose itsdirection, which ultimately caused the company's decline on both apersonal and organizational scale. Lights Out details how one ofAmerica's all-time great companies has been reduced to a cautionarytale for our times.