Okay, we got the title of today’s post right, let’s tackle today’s topic. First up, is Lou Gerstner, widely viewed as the CEO who pulled IBM back from the brink of ruin some years ago. It was at the dawn of the PC, the personal computer.
IBM made a huge strategic mistake with the PC one of their Florida divisions had made. But Gerstner was called in to help turn the company around. After he retired, everyone wanted to know how he did it. In 2003, he wrote what IFO thought was a totally inadequate book. The title alone is a clue: Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?
Managing a large enterprise is not a verbal activity. The video above gives a much better idea about what qualities and skills are needed to do what he did.
Every geek in the civilized world was attempting to build smaller computers in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But another trend was developing, little-noticed by believers in bigger is better, more powerful, more profitable and more virile.
This was just after science fiction writers were crafting stories about gigantic computers using vacuum tubes that made so much heat the computers had to be in buildings of their own with massive air conditioners.
Software and hardware developers were working on making smaller, more affordable computers for middle-size companies. Big law firms and accountants were interested in installing computers and new servers in spare closets with raised floors to allow for cables and air conditioning systems.
Meanwhile, in garages and out-of-the way labs, geniuses were coming up with PCs – Dell and Apple are among the few that remain from those heady days. That world has changed – PCs are practically like commodities – pencils + telephones + typewriters + TVs.
There is another look at CEO problems – what company would hire TWO CEOs at one time? Here’s one from the Wall Street Journal about two CEOs at a German bank who resigned at the same time. What a mess.
These examples make it easier to understand why it is important to look into CEOs when considering buying shares in a company.