When Lou Gerstner took over as CEO of IBM in 1993, he took the reigns of an old and prestigious institution with a rich history. Gerstner had no computer industry experience, but he did have deep leadership experience. And taking over at IBM he would need every bit of it: IBM had suffered a multibillion dollar loss and was burning cash.
“There’s been a lot of speculation as to when I’m going to deliver a vision of IBM [but] the last thing IBM needs right now is a vision,” Gerstner said at his first press conference. He needed to make some tough decisions and get the his new team members working together effectively – fast.