General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt faced the music yesterday, as his predecessor, Jack Welch, raked him over the coals on his own cable TV network for missing first-quarter earnings forecasts. Immelt admitted GE “let people down” in downgrading its outlook for 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports. But he said he won’t change the direction he’s set for the company, or cave to demand he split it up.
Welch defended Immelt's strategy—"I truly believe this nonsense about breaking up GE and Immelt's in trouble is crazy"—but not before saying Immelt has a "credibility problem" and that he screwed up by making a promise he broke just weeks later. Since taking over six years ago, Immelt has shed underperforming businesses—and executives—but said he won’t be forced to accelerate his pace.