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Arnold Weinstock

Arnold Weinstock, Baron Weinstock (29 July 1924 – 23 July 2002) was an English businessman whom The Guardian newspaper called "Britain's premier post-second-world-war industrialist." [1]

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. [2]

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, Sir Michael Sobell. In 1954 he joined his father-in law's electronics company, Radio & Allied Industries Ltd., and in 1963 orchestrated its merger with General Electric, becoming the largest shareholder of GEC. Weinstock served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1961 to 1963 and was Managing Director from 1963 to 1996, thence Chairman Emeritus. He transformed the firm, raising its turnover from £100m in 1960 to £11bn at his retirement in 1996. He was noted for holding his counsel during the disastrous dismantling and subsequent collapse of GEC (renamed Marconi plc) under his successors.

He was a director of Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd 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.

Thoroughbred horse racing

A member of the Jockey Club, Weinstock owned a number of thoroughbred racehorses. He and his father-in-law owned Troy, winner of the 1979 Epsom Derby. He also owned Pilsudski, whose wins included the 1996 Grosser Preis von Baden and Breeders' Cup Turf plus the 1997 Japan Cup.

Weinstock was knighted in 1970 and was made a life peer as Baron Weinstock, of Bowden in the County of Wiltshire in 1980. Other honours were:

  • Fellow, Royal Statistical Society
  • Honorary Fellow, Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1982.
  • Honorary Bencher, Gray's Inn, 1982.
  • Hon. DSc: Salford, 1975; Aston, 1976; Bath, 1978; Reading, 1978; Ulster, 1987.
  • Hon. LLD: Leeds, 1978; Wales, 1985; Keele, 1997
  • Hon. DTech Loughborough, 1981; DUniv Anglia Poly., 1994; Hon. DEconSc London, 1997.
  • Commendatore, Ordine al Merito (Italy), 1991
  • Officer, Legion of Honor (France), 1992.


  • Who's Who 2001
  • Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Britain 2001
  • Alex Brummer, Weinstock: The Life and Times of Britain's Premier Industrialist (HarperCollinsBusiness, 1998).


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