Suzy Welch says it was like being hit with a thunderbolt. In 2001, Welch, then Suzy Wetlaufer, was a divorced mother of four and an editor of The Harvard Business Review, thoroughly resigned to spending the rest of her life without a husband. “Not a lot of single guys want to date a woman with four kids who is 40 years old,” she says. Then she assigned herself to interview Jack Welch, the powerful—and married—former CEO of General Electric. “I was as nervous as a human being could be,” she tells Tina Brown in TheDailybeast.com. “His reputation preceded him. He thought HBR was a boneheaded scholarly journal.” But Wetlaufer’s fear melted immediately. “I walked in and it was like those corny and hokey, stupid and improbable things you read about in a romance novel. We looked at each other and my heart was pounding.” Wetlaufer tried to focus on her job. Welch had other plans. “He was completely difficult. He was not giving me good answers. He was sort of staring at me in this really weird way. And I’m thinking, What the heck? And then on my third question he says, ‘Turn that tape recorder off.’ I dutifully turned it off and he said, ‘Do you have a guy?’ That was the end.”
Suzy Welch’s fateful encounter
April 23, 2009
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