How Jack Welch Would Offer a Hand to David Einhorn on His Apple Position

Michael Teague |

Earlier this week, Jack Welch was asked about his feelings on the recent agitations of various activist investors like David Einhorn in an interview on CNBC.

His answer left little room for doubt, when the former General Electric (GE) CEO told hostess Maria Bartiromo, “Look, these guys are after a quick hit, I’d blow him off”, adding, after some dismissive hand gestures, “I’d give him the back of my hand.”

Welch expressed a similar sentiment in February, when he was quoted in a separate CNBC interview as saying, "Exactly what he has been told already: take a hike."

Compared to the Herbalife (HLF) showdown between Carl Icahn vs. Bill Ackman from late January, Welch’s comment was a bit of harmless bluster. His larger point was that a company in the position in which Apple (AAPL) currently finds itself, with competition finally encroaching on its market share in a significant way, needs a large amount of cash on hand to be able to make decisions that will help it maintain competitive advantages.

The only alternative Welch seemed to suggest for what should be done with the famed $137 billion in cash currently held by the tech giant was an acquisition. He noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook currently has Samsung and others “nipping at his heels. And he risks running, rather than a sexy company, a commodities company."

The interview devoted far more time to Welch’s feelings about the current roles of both the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve in the present economic recovery (he was more or less disparaging of both, especially in terms of onerous regulation), as well as how jobs result from growth and not the other way around.

His dismissal of Einhorn’s recent high-profile spat with Apple did however seem to echo what Warren Buffet said on the subject only four days ago on the same channel’s “Squawk Box” program, in which the famed investor recounted a past conversation with the late Steve Jobs during which he advised Jobs to buy back his own company’s stock rather than increase dividend payouts.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
GE General Electric Co 31.78 0.25 0.79 31,227,376
AAPL Apple Inc. 113.95 1.83 1.63 34,402,627
ATL:CA Atlatsa Resources Corporation 0.07 0.01 7.69 38,000


Emerging Growth

Winston Gold Mining Corp.

Winston Gold Mining Corp is a mineral exploration and development company. The Company is engaged in acquiring, exploring, developing, and operating mining properties.

Private Markets

Cross Campus

With over 500 members and operating 80,000 square feet by summer 2016, Cross Campus is one of the country’s top ten shared, collaborative office or "coworking" operators in the US.…


Wealthfront is an automated investment service that serves as an alternative to traditional financial advisory services. The company manages a diversified, continually rebalanced portfolio of index funds on their clients’…