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June 16, 2011

Happy 100 Birthday IBM!

I started my career fifty years ago as an IBM Service Bureau programmer. That is where I learned the trade and I regard IBM as my Alma Matter. After five years IBM and I parted ways. Those were good years. Thomas Watson Jr. was the president and the people who worked at IBM got a lot of respect, both from the company and from outside as well.

After Thomas Watson Jr. retired in 1971, IBM fell into the hands of "professional managers" and the Watson mystique, the Watson business philosophy, was lost. IBM lost its way. The downward spiral ended when the Board of Directors belatedly fired CEO John Akers in 1993 and replaced him with McKinsy & Company consultant Lou Gerstner. It was a historic turnaround.

IBM's centennial video features 100 people, each presenting an achievement from the year they were born.

Denny Schlesinger

IBM CEO, Lou Gerstner, Steps Down A brief history of Gerstner's role at IBM

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