Jack Welch quit Fortune, Reuters after a controversial tweet suggesting the Bureau of Labor Statistics cooked the books on the latest jobs report
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, has quit his writing gigs at Fortune magazine and Reuters following his tweet last week accusing on the Bureau of Labor Statistics of cooking the latest employment numbers.
The message — which claimed that President Obama's people had put out a false, optimistic jobs report the morning after the first presidential debate — set Twitter ablaze with criticism.
"Unbelievable jobs numbers .. these Chicago guys will do anything .. can't debate so change numbers," he tweeted.
Later that day, Welch told MSNBC that he had no evidence to support his claim but that the recent recent drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent defies logic.
Welch's tweet was widely mocked in the Twitterverse, as users compared the former executive to real-estate mogul Donald Trump, who erroneously suggested during a failed presidential bid that Obama was not born in the United States.
Many tweeters also tied Welch to the so-called "truther" movement in conservative media, in which pundits and partisan news outlets have questioned the veracity of widely accepted facts.
Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer refuted Welch's claim on Monday morning's episode of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"I think it's exactly the opposite of what Jack Welch is saying," Serwer said. "Things are actually improving."
Welch's statement also drew critical scrutiny of his record as a job destroyer — Fortune reported that GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs during the 20 years Welch ran the company.
After the story ran, Welch emailed Reuters Steve Adler and Serwer saying he and his wife and writing partner Suzy were "terminating our contract" and would no longer send "material to Fortune."
In an email to Fortune, he said he would get better "traction" elsewhere.