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British Industrial History

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Arnold Weinstock

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Arnold Weinstock, Baron Weinstock (29 July 1924 – 23 July 2002) was an English businessman.

The son of working class Polish-Jewish immigrants, Weinstock is best known for building GEC, a major conglomerate, which at the time of his retirement had become one of the UK's largest companies.

Weinstock was educated at the London School of Economics (of which he was made an Honorary Fellow in 1985).

He was a junior administrative officer in the Admiralty, 1944-47.

In 1949, he married Netta Sobell, the daughter of industrialist, Michael Sobell.

In 1954 he joined his father-in law's electronics company, Radio and Allied Industries.

In 1961 he orchestrated its merger with GEC, becoming the largest shareholder of GEC. Weinstock served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1961 to 1963. After the merger, Weinstock was in charge of the conusmer side of the combined business.

He was Managing Director from 1963 to 1996, and afterwards was Chairman Emeritus. He transformed the firm, raising its turnover from £100m in 1960 to £11bn at his retirement in 1996. A key part of his approach involved cutting costs and streamlining decision making, in which he was helped by Kenneth Bond, a colleague from Radio and Allied Industries. Weinstock was noted for holding his counsel during the dismantling and subsequent collapse of GEC (renamed Marconi plc) under his successors.

He was a director of Rolls-Royce from 1971 to 1973. He was Vice-President of the Friends of the Ravenna Festival, 1993-1994, a trustee of the British Museum, 1985-1996, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Foundation Fund, 1984-1992. He was also senior trustee of the Next Century Foundation, a peace process organisation he helped establish. He established the Weinstock Fund, a charitable foundation that supports a variety of benevolent and cultural causes.

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