CHAPTER  |  THIRTY

Drucker's Theory of Abandonment

Jack Welch began his twenty-year tenure as CEO of General Electric in 1981. Welch was the youngest CEO in GE's history. This also was the start of his legend as one of the leading CEOs of the twentieth century. When Welch became CEO, the company's market value was about $12 billion. When he left, it was worth more than twenty-five times that figure. GE saw the largest increases in both its sales and its profits under his leadership.

According to Welch, two simple questions from Peter Drucker initiated and helped to propel GE to these amazing accomplishments and to establish his own stature as a business executive of heroic accomplishments. The first question was, “If GE wasn't already in a particular ...

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