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Lord Arnold Weinstock, 77; Led Growth of Firm GEC

July 27, 2002|From Associated Press

Lord Weinstock, who transformed GEC into one of Britain's most successful postwar industrial groups, has died. He was 77.

Weinstock died Tuesday at his home in Wiltshire, southwest England, a family spokesman said. No cause of death was given.

Weinstock joined Radio & Allied Industry, the family firm of his father-in-law, Michael Sobell, in 1954. It became GEC after a 1961 takeover, and Weinstock became managing director in 1963.

After 33 years at the helm, Weinstock retired in 1996, having built one of Britain's most successful manufacturing empires, which had some 2 billion pounds (or about $3 billion) in cash resources.

Through a string of takeovers, GEC had come to dominate Britain's engineering, electronics and telecommunications industries. Its interests included military equipment, refrigerators, gasoline pumps and telephone exchanges.

Weinstock was famous for his grasp of detail, caution in business and tightfisted management of the company.

Born Arnold Weinstock in 1924, he was the youngest of six children of Polish parents who immigrated to London in 1904. He married Netta Sobell in 1949, after receiving a degree at the London School of Economics.

Weinstock and Sobell owned racehorses together from 1957, and in 1960, they bought Ballymacoll Stud in County Meath, Ireland, breeding successful horses.

Weinstock, who was knighted in 1970 and made a life peer 10 years later, was a former trustee of the British Museum and the Royal Philharmonic Society.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

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