Thursday, December 10, 2009

General Electric's chief executive attacks "meanness and greed" of business leaders

Writing in the Finacial Times this morning, Francesco Guerrera reports a remarkable speech made at West Point military academy by Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric:
"We are at the end of a difficult generation of business leadership ... tough-mindedness, a good trait, was replaced by meanness and greed, both terrible traits," said Mr Immelt, who succeeded Jack Welch, one of the toughest leaders of his generation, at the helm of the US conglomerate. "Rewards became perverted. The richest people made the most mistakes with the least accountability."
Immelt also said:
"The bottom 25 per cent of the American population is poorer than they were 25 years ago. That is just wrong ... Ethically, leaders do share a common responsibility to narrow the gap between the weak and the strong."
Meanwhile in London, bankers responded to Alistair Darling's plans to tax their bonuses.

1 comment:

Tristan said...

I do wonder whether this speech is an indication of some of the business leaders are gearing up for another bout of corporate 'liberalism' like the New Deal. More entrenching of their positions at the expense of the the working classes and small entrepreneurs.

Whenever businessmen start wearing hair shirts like this it is time to beware.