Jack Welch is throwing his support — such as it is — behind Jamie Dimon, the embattled leader of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Dimon is scrambling to hang on to the chairmanship of his company in the aftermath of an embarrassing trading mishap by the now-infamous "London Whale" that has blotted Dimon's once-unassailable record.
Dimon remains chief executive of the banking giant. But critics are pressing JPMorgan to separate the CEO and chairman roles.
Corporate-governance advocates say such moves help prevent a powerful leader, even a visionary or successful one, from amassing too much clout in the boardroom.
Now Welch, the former CEO of General Electric Co., is stepping into the fray.
Welch tweeted Wednesday morning that Dimon is a “great leader” who should retain the chairman role.
Welch is, of course, a business legend for his years at GE. And 1.4 million people follow him on Twitter.
But his imprimatur may not mean as much as it once did, given the flap he created the last time he staked out a controversial position on Twitter.
In the heat of the U.S. presidential election last October, Welch accused government numbers crunchers of intentionally skewing data to make the monthly unemployment report look good to help President Obama win reelection.
Welch was widely ridiculed for the tweet. Experts called the allegation preposterous and pointed out that there are so many safeguards built into the system used to determine the unemployment rate that such a scam would be impossible to carry off.
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