As reported in FT:
â€œWe are at the end of a difficult generation of business leadership … tough-mindedness, a good trait, was replaced by meanness and greed, both terrible traits,â€ said Mr Immelt, who succeeded Jack Welch, one of the toughest leaders of his generation, at the helm of the US conglomerate. â€œRewards became perverted. The richest people made the most mistakes with the least accountability.â€
Several executives, especially in financial services, have apologised for their companiesâ€™ role in the crisis but Mr Immeltâ€™s remarks went further, linking bad leadership to growing inequality.
â€œThe bottom 25 per cent of the American population is poorer than they were 25 years ago. That is just wrong,â€ he said. â€œEthically, leaders do share a common responsibility to narrow the gap between the weak and the strong.â€