I used to think Jack Welch was a genius, but that was a long time ago. It turns out that Welch wasn't a genius, he was just riding the stock market bubble.
Update: Just to comment on what Paul said. Not to criticize, but to expand the conversation a bit.
Everyone in the world knows how to bend metal, paint it, throw in a electric motor and some parts.Yes and no. If LG was building nothing but top-loading washers that have been around for decades, yes. But there is still innovation going on, even with household appliances.
There is no way he was going to expend expensive front office staff into a no profit, crowded environment.Perhaps the field is crowded, but it's still profitable. Otherwise a company like LG wouldn't have come from seemingly nowhere to dominate retail space.
From a June 1998 BusinessWeek article,
The company boasts what most headhunters believe to be the most talent-rich management bench in the world. Gary C. Wendt has led GE Capital Corp. to extraordinary heights, where it contributes nearly 40% of the company's total earnings.That was the secret to Welch's success, and look at GE now.