Author: George, William W.
Source: Harvard Business School
Company Name: IBM
Number of pages: 7
In 2002 Sam Palmisano became chairman and CEO of IBM, succeeding the legendary Lou Gerstner. Gerstner, coming from RJR Nabisco and before that American Express, was sought out by the IBM board to replace John Akers as CEO when the company was facing the greatest crisis in its history; Gerstner took over IBM's helm in 1994. IBM was on the brink of bankruptcy, with many
shareholders pressuring management to capture near-term value by divesting pieces of IBM. At the time, Gerstner was viewed as one of the few executives who could save the company.
During a four-day period in July 2003, all employees were asked to participate in deciding what IBM's values should be, using the format of an on-line interactive dialogue.