Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? SP: Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround

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9780060743468: Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? SP: Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround

CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr.'s memoir about the extraordinary turnaround of IBM and his transformation of the company into the industry leader of the computer age - the great American business story of our time. When Louis V. Gerstner became CEO of IBM in 1993, shares had slumped and the company was on the verge of collapse. Hired for his successful management of RJR Nabisco and American Express, Gerstner had no background in technology, but during his seven-year chairmanship, he transformed the company into the leading force of the computer age. In his frank, direct voice, Gerstner recalls the obstacles he faced: the plans to fragment the company, the inconsistent global policies, the stodgy white-shirt hierarchy and inter-departmental competitiveness and the rapidly declining sales. Within months of joining IBM, Gerstner presented his bold and controversial business strategy. Punitive towards office politics, he revolutionised the company from within, altering an entire corporate culture, divesting billions of dollars in unneeded assets and transforming IBM from a fractured, process-driven business into a nimble, customer-driven enterprise able to respond quickly to the volatile technology market and face down Microsoft and Intel in the internet era. Revealing his tactics step by step, Gerstner spins an engaging narrative that takes the reader behind the curtain into the unbelievable mess he inherited and into the office and mind of a CEO facing the challenge of a lifetime.

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Product Description:

In 1990, IBM had its most profitable year ever. By 1993, the company was on a watch list for extinction -- victimized by its own lumbering size, an insular corporate culture, and the PC era IBM had itself helped invent.

Enter Lou Gerstner. The presumption was that Gerstner had joined IBM to preside over its continued dissolution into a confederation of autonomous business units -- effectively eliminating the corporation that had invented many of the industry's most important technologies. Instead, Gerstner took hold of the company, making the bold decision to keep it together, defiantly announcing, "The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision."

Told in Lou Gerstner's own words, this is a story of an extraordinary turn-around, a case study in managing a crisis, and a thoughtful reflection on the computer industry and the principles of leadership. Summing up his historic business achievement, Gerstner recounts high-level meetings, explains the no-turning-back decisions that had to be made, and offers his hard-won conclusions about the essence of what makes a great company run.

Read by Edward Herrman
With an introduction Read by the Author

Product Description:

Writing in an exciting, fast-paced narrative style, Gerstner takes readers through his experiences at IBM -- from the high-powered recruiting pressure to take the Chairman's position, to first days on the job learning the strengths and weaknesses of IBM, to formulating and successfully implementing a turnaround strategy.

Filled with Gerstner's personal insights as he explores the company, institutes changes, and rebuilds IBM for the 21st century, readers will have unprecedented access to the mind of the CEO. Refreshing and candid throughout, Gerstner pulls no punches as shows readers what he did and why he did it.

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