Dreamforce 2012: Marc Benioff, General Colin Powell & GE CEO Jeff Immelt Video Production By Lilia Taran & KC Leung
Colin Luther Powell, (born April 5, 1937) is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military career, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987–1989), as Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command (1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993), holding the latter position during the Gulf War. He was the first, and so far the only, African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Colin Luther Powell was born on April 5, 1937 in Harlem, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, to Jamaican immigrant parents Maud Arial and Luther Theophilus Powell. He also has Scottish ancestry. Powell was raised in the South Bronx and attended Morris High School, a former public school in the Bronx, from which he graduated in 1954. While at school, he worked at a local baby furniture store where he picked up Yiddish from the shopkeepers and some of the customers. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the City College of New York in 1958 and was a self-admitted C average student. He was later able to earn a Master of Business Administration degree from the George Washington University in 1971, after his second tour in Vietnam.
Powell described joining the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) during college as one of the happiest experiences of his life; discovering something he loved and could do well, he felt he had “found himself.” According to Powell:
“It was only once I was in college, about six months into college when I found something that I liked, and that was ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corps in the military. And I not only liked it, but I was pretty good at it. That’s what you really have to look for in life, something that you like, and something that you think you’re pretty good at. And if you can put those two things together, then you’re on the right track, and just drive on.”
Cadet Powell joined the Pershing Rifles, the ROTC fraternal organization and drill team begun by General John Pershing. Even after he had become a general, Powell kept on his desk a pen set he had won for a drill team competition.
Upon graduation, he received a commission as an Army second lieutenant. He was a professional soldier for 35 years, holding a variety of command and staff positions and rising to the rank of General. Powell was a captain during the Vietnam War, serving as a South Vietnamese Army adviser from 1962 to 1963. While on patrol in a Viet Cong-held area, he was wounded by stepping on a punji stake. He returned to Vietnam as a major in 1968, serving in the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division), then as assistant chief of staff of operations for the Americal Division. He was charged with investigating a detailed letter by Tom Glen (a soldier from the 11th Light Infantry Brigade), which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai Massacre. Powell wrote: “In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent.” Later, Powell’s assessment would be described as whitewashing the news of the massacre, and questions would continue to remain undisclosed to the public. In May 2004 Powell said to television and radio host Larry King, “I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored.”
Powell served a White House fellowship, a highly selective and prestigious position, under President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1973.
In his autobiography, My American Journey, Powell named several officers he served under who inspired and mentored him. As a lieutenant colonel serving in South Korea, Powell was very close to General Henry “Gunfighter” Emerson. Powell said he regarded Emerson as one of the most caring officers he ever met. Emerson insisted his troops train at night to fight a possible North Korean attack, and made them repeatedly watch the television film Brian’s Song to promote racial harmony. Powell always professed that what set Emerson apart, was his great love of his soldiers and concern for their welfare.
In the early 1980s, Powell served at Fort Carson, Colorado. After he left Fort Carson, Powell became senior military assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, whom he assisted during the 1983 invasion of Grenada and the 1986 airstrike on Libya.
In 1986, he took over the command of V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany, from Robert Lewis “Sam” Wetzel. Following the Iran Contra scandal, Powell became Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor, serving from 1987 to 1989. In April 1989, Powell was promoted to General and briefly served as the Commander in Chief, Forces Command, headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia. Later that year, President George H.W. Bush selected him as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Jeffrey Robert “Jeff” Immelt (born February 19, 1956) is an American business executive. He is currently the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the U.S.-based conglomerate General Electric. He was selected by GE’s Board of Directors in 2000 to replace Jack Welch following his retirement. Previously, Immelt had headed up GE’s Medical Systems division (now known as GE Healthcare) as its President and CEO.
Immelt was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Donna Rosemary (née Wallace), a school teacher, and Joseph Francis Immelt, who managed the General Electric Aircraft Engines Division. Immelt attended Finneytown High School; he played football in college and was an offensive tackle. He holds an B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Dartmouth College where he currently serves on the board of trustees and was president of his fraternity, Phi Delta Alpha. Immelt also received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He has been with GE since 1982 and is on the board of two non-profit organizations, one of which is the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization which attempts to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City.
His tenure as chairman and CEO started off on a low note – he took over the role on September 7, 2001, just four days before the terrorist attacks on the United States, which killed two employees and cost GE’s insurance business $600 million, as well as having a direct effect on the company’s Aircraft Engines sector. Jeffrey Immelt has been CEO of General Electric for 08 years and with the company for 29 years, where he finds himself as number 145 on Forbes’ CEO Compensation list. He has a total five year compensation of $53.82 million, ranking him 6th place among the Conglomerates. Immelt was named to Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2009. Since taking over, GE’s stock has dropped nearly 60%. General Electric has closed more than 31 plants since 2008 and let go of more than 19,000 employees, but Immelt still took home $15.2 million in 2011. Recently, Immelt has been criticized by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly for business transactions between GE and Iran, the country which has reportedly been attacking U.S. forces in Iraq. O’Reilly went as far as to say, “If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt”. GE’s website claims that the company stopped doing business in Iran in 2005 (and finished all contracts by 2008). In a May 2012 column in Forbes magazine, Adam Hartung listed Immelt as the fourth worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company, saying he had “no vision to propel GE’s growth, and should have been gone by 2010,” after GE’s stock dropped from $60 in 2000 to $19 in 2012 (2/3 from when Immelt took the CEO position).
According to documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission, Immelt lives with his wife Andrea in New Canaan, Connecticut.
In February 2009, Immelt was appointed as a member to the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide the president and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America’s economic downturn. When President Obama chose to put Jeffrey Immelt at the head of the Economic Advisory Board, he felt that Immelt had attributions in knowing what would help the global economy. Obama has reported that Immelt has emerged as one of his top economic advisors in regards to trying to rebuild America’s economy.
On January 21, 2011, President Obama announced Immelt’s appointment as chairman of his outside panel of economic advisers, succeeding former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. The New York Times reported that Obama’s appointment of Immelt was “another strong signal that he intends to make the White House more business-friendly.” Immelt will retain his post at G.E. while becoming “chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a newly named panel that President Obama is creating by executive order.” Despite this, in July 2011 Immelt’s General Electric announced that it is in the process of relocating its X-ray division from Wisconsin to China. Immelt had previously referred to China as GE’s “second home market”.
Immelt at U.S. Climate Action Partnership event in 2007
As CEO of General Electric in 2007, Immelt earned a total compensation of $14,209,267, which included a base salary of $3,300,000, a cash bonus of $5,800,000, stocks granted of $4,713,000, and options granted of $0.In 2008, he earned a total compensation of $5,717,469, which included a base salary of $3,300,000, stocks granted of $2,044,650, and other compensation of $372,819. He waived his bonus in 2008. In 2009, Immelt earned a total compensation of $5,487,155, which included a base salary of $3,300,000, a cash bonus of $0, stocks granted of $1,791,000, and options granted of $0, and other income of $396,155. In 2010, Immelt’s compensation nearly doubled to $15.2 million. He did not receive any bonus for almost 2 years, but in February he received $4 million for his work in 2010.