Welch on Winning

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto", February 4, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, there’s a big book deal in the works for former GE boss Jack Welch again. It’s expected to include a $4 million advance. I want in on this deal.

Anyway, Welch thinks that the deal with Harper Collins, a unit of News Corp., the parent of this network, by the way, the new how-to book on business, will be called "Winning.." It will be co-authored by his wife- to-be, Suzy Wetlaufer. They both join us now in their first television interview on this.

Congratulations to both of you. Welcome.



CAVUTO: $4 million. Do you guys split it down the middle?

WELCH: We’re still negotiating that.

CAVUTO: Oh, all right. All right. First off, how is this going to be different, Jack, from "Straight from the Gut," your business best-seller that lasted for years?

WELCH: It will be almost -- little or no biography. It will be something that will be more for everyday managers. It will be really hard- hitting.

You know, how do you fire a friend, dealing with a merger at every level. All kinds of very direct issues that we can take head-on from my experience, and Suzy’s experience, in writing about them.

CAVUTO: Suzy, what are you going to do here?

WETLAUFER: I think that I’m going to help formulate ideas, talk about business, talk about the content, probably day and night. And then I’ll probably have my mitts on the keyboard most of the time, and I’ll do the writing and editing part of the job.

CAVUTO: So it sounds like you’re going to be doing all the work and Jack’s going to be taking a lot of byline credit, right?

WETLAUFER: In fact, I think you hit the nail on the head, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right. Run and take all the $4 million then, Suzy.


CAVUTO: Jack, let me ask you a little bit about a book like this. You know, a lot of people were surprised, the eye-popping figure here. Of course, you set records with the $7 million-plus advance you got from "Straight From the Gut," then the Clintons came along and did you a couple of better than that. But for a business book it was unprecedented, and yet you scored this again at a time when publishing is pretty tight.

What did they hope to get out of you, the Harper Collins folks?

WELCH: Well, I think that -- well, first of all, I talked to Harper Collins the first time, and not that anybody is keeping score, Neil, but the $7 we got, which we gave to charity, was actually $10 on a global basis.

CAVUTO: Oh, I see.

WELCH: Not that winning is important, OK?

CAVUTO: OK. Got you.

WELCH: No, I think that, without question, a lot of this book will be based on my last three years and the time I was with GE. But the last three years, Suzy and I have traveled all around the world and talked to literally over 200,000, maybe 300,000 people. And I never give a speech, I just have Q&A.

So we know what is on the minds of middle managers, what is frightening them, what they want to know, how they deal with tough issues. And between the two of us, we have talked about it over and over again after talking to these people. So this book is going to have a much more grassroots, hands on, where I came from, if you will, and where Suzy started in manufacturing.

CAVUTO: So there will be stuff like on what you do with talented anchors who you have under your watch and that sort of thing, right?

WELCH: Well, I was never able to keep the good ones I had.

CAVUTO: Suzy, let me ask you this. I did notice a ring before in a wide shot here. When is the wedding?

WETLAUFER: It’s in April.

CAVUTO: April?


CAVUTO: All right. Now, is this going to be...

WELCH: You told him.

CAVUTO: Is it going to be a big shindig here, or what?

WETLAUFER: Nope. It’s not going to be a big shindig. It’s going to be a smallish event, close friends and family.

WELCH: Very small.

CAVUTO: All right. I want to congratulate you both. Best of luck on this book. You know, my book is coming out in the spring. So if you can delay it after that, I would appreciate it.

WELCH: I’ll do anything, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right. Jack Welch, Suzy Wetlaufer, thank you very much. We’ll see where all this sorts out.

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