Welch became one of the nation’s most well-known and highly regarded corporate leaders during his two decades as GE’s chairman and chief executive, from 1981 to 2001. He personified the so-called “cult of the CEO” during the late-1990s boom, when GE’s soaring stock price made it the most valuable company in the world.
Comcast said Tuesday that it’s buying the remaining 49% of NBCUniversal from General Electric for $16.7 billion, doing so several years early. Investors thought the move was good for both companies — GE because it got cash for its stake earlier than expected and Comcast because it is seen to be a good use of its cash. Comcast’s decision to buy the rest of NBCU ahead of schedule represents a resounding vote of confidence in the future of TV, even as the growth of Internet video reshapes the entertainment landscape.