Less than a week after former General Electric CEO Jack Welch suggested the White House was cooking employment figures, he has resigned his gig writing for Reuters.com and Fortune. And Fortune has more or less kicked him on the way out the door.
"Welch said he will no longer contribute to Fortune following critical coverage of the former CEO of General Electric, saying he would get better 'traction' elsewhere," a Fortune report said Tuesday under the headline"Welch can't take the heat: I quit."
The flare-up began on Friday, when Mr. Welch said on Twitter that President Barack Obama's "Chicago guys" altered the latest jobs report to benefit the White House:
Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
A wide range of outlets, including Fortune and Reuters, voiced skepticism about the conspiracy theory. As Fortune told it today:
Monday morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer said there were a number of things wrong with Welch's tweet, the biggest of which was that the economy doesn't back up the former executive's claim that the numbers were faked.
"I think it's exactly the opposite of what Jack Welch is saying," Serwer said. "Things are actually improving."
CNNMoney, which shares content with Fortune.com, ran a story on Friday covering Welch's tweet. The piece said that even conservative economists thought Welch was wrong to question the jobs numbers. On Tuesday, Fortune.com ran a story detailing Welch's record as a job destroyer. GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs during the 20 years in which Welch ran the company. "I never put myself out there as an employment agency," Welch told Fortune.
Mr. Welch may have resigned, in other words, but Fortune wants you to know it's OK with that .