Jack Welch, who led General Electric (GE) through 20 years of its greatest financial success and became the most influential business manager of his generation, passed away on Monday at the age of 84 due to renal failure, the New York Times reported.
Welch became the CEO of GE in 1981 and led it until his retirement in 2001.
"Today is a sad day for the entire GE family," GE CEO Larry Culp said in a statement cited by CNN.
"Jack was larger than life and the heart of GE for half a century. He reshaped the face of our company and the business world. Jack was a strong and constant influence throughout my career despite never having worked directly for him," Culp added.
Welch, who was named "Manager of the Century" by Fortune magazine in 1999, massively increased the financial might of GE by nearly fivefold to USD 130 billion during his time. The market value of the stock rose from USD 14 billion to more than USD 400 billion, an increase of more than 2,700 per cent, during those 20 years.
US President Donald Trump also extended warm sympathies to Welch's family over his demise and lauded the friendship that the two shared between each other.
"Jack Welch, the former chairman and CEO of GE, a business legend, has died. There was no corporate leader like "neutron" Jack. He was my friend and supporter. We made wonderful deals together. He will never be forgotten. My warmest sympathies to his wonderful wife & family!" the president tweeted.
GE has struggled mightily in recent years, as it shed many of the units Welch had brought on and made deep cuts in its headcount, which has fallen by more than 100,000 in just the last two years.
Its once prized share price became a laggard, as the company slashed its dividend to a penny a share.