Why Jack Welch Cracked Heads At Kidder

Maybe it was Joe Jett's revenge. Ever since the former Kidder, Peabody & Co. executive was fired last April for an allegedly fraudulent trading scheme, Kidder has been enmeshed in crippling rumors about its finances. Finally, on June 22, Jack Welch, General Electric Co.'s hard-bitten chief executive, moved to rescue the troubled GE unit. Welch summarily replaced Michael A. Carpenter, Kidder's embattled chief--just two months after pledging to support him. "When you create uncertainty, companies, institutions can unravel," Welch said at a press conference in New York. "So, our job today was to step forward."

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