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

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9780060523794: Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: 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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Review:

“[Gerstner] entertains as he educates.” (New York Times Book Review)

“A well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Effective, to the point...Louis V. Gerstner Jr deserves his place in the management hall of fame.” (Financial Times)

“The best business book I’ve ever read.” (Imus in the Morning)

“[Lou Gerstner] has the substance of a genuine and ... interesting story.” (Wall Street Journal)

From the Publisher:

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.
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 a challenge of a lifetime.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2003. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 228 x 158 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1990, IBM had its most profitable year ever. By 1993, the computer industry had changed so rapidly the company was on its way to losing $16 billion and IBM 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.Then Lou Gerstner was brought in to run IBM. Almost everyone watching the rapid demise of this American icon presumed Gerstner had joined IBM to preside over its continued dissolution into a confederation of autonomous business units. This strategy, well underway when he arrived, would have effectively eliminated the corporation that had invented many of the industry s most important technologies.Instead, Gerstner took hold of the company and demanded the managers work together to re-establish IBM s mission as a customer-focused provider of computing solutions. Moving ahead of his critics, Gerstner made the hold decision to keep the company together, slash prices on his core product to keep the company competitive, and almost defiantly announced, The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision. Who Says Elephants Can t Dance? tells the story of IBM s competitive and cultural transformation. In his own words, Gerstner offers a blow-by-blow account of his arrival at the company and his campaign to rebuild the leadership team and give the workforce a renewed sense of purpose. In the process, Gerstner defined a strategy for the computing giant and remade the ossified culture bred by the company s own success.The first-hand story of an extraordinary turnaround, a unique case study in managing a crisis, and a thoughtful reflection on the computer industry and the principles of leadership, Who Says Elephants Can t Dance? sums up Lou Gerstner s historic business achievement. Taking readers deep into the world of IBM s CEO, Gerstner recounts the high-level meetings and explains the pressure-filled, no-turning-back decisions that had to be made. He also offers his hard-won conclusions about the essence of what makes a great company run.In the history of modern business, many companies have gone from being industry leaders to the verge of extinction. Through the heroic efforts of a new management team, some of those companies have even succeeded in resuscitating themselves and living on in the shadow of their former stature. But only one company has been at the pinnacle of an industry, fallen to near collapse, and then, beyond anyone s expectations, returned to set the agenda. That company is IBM.Lou Gerstener, Jr., served as chairman and chief executive officer of IBM from April 1993 to March 2002, when he retired as CEO. He remained chairman of the board through the end of 2002. Before joining IBM, Mr. Gerstner served for four years as chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco, Inc. This was preceded by an eleven-year career at the American Express Company, where he was president of the parent company and chairman and CEO of its largest subsidiary. Prior to that, Mr. Gerstner was a director of the management consulting firm of McKinsey Co., Inc. He received a bachelor s degree in engineering from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060523794

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2003. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 228 x 158 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1990, IBM had its most profitable year ever. By 1993, the computer industry had changed so rapidly the company was on its way to losing $16 billion and IBM 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.Then Lou Gerstner was brought in to run IBM. Almost everyone watching the rapid demise of this American icon presumed Gerstner had joined IBM to preside over its continued dissolution into a confederation of autonomous business units. This strategy, well underway when he arrived, would have effectively eliminated the corporation that had invented many of the industry s most important technologies.Instead, Gerstner took hold of the company and demanded the managers work together to re-establish IBM s mission as a customer-focused provider of computing solutions. Moving ahead of his critics, Gerstner made the hold decision to keep the company together, slash prices on his core product to keep the company competitive, and almost defiantly announced, The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision. Who Says Elephants Can t Dance? tells the story of IBM s competitive and cultural transformation. In his own words, Gerstner offers a blow-by-blow account of his arrival at the company and his campaign to rebuild the leadership team and give the workforce a renewed sense of purpose. In the process, Gerstner defined a strategy for the computing giant and remade the ossified culture bred by the company s own success.The first-hand story of an extraordinary turnaround, a unique case study in managing a crisis, and a thoughtful reflection on the computer industry and the principles of leadership, Who Says Elephants Can t Dance? sums up Lou Gerstner s historic business achievement. Taking readers deep into the world of IBM s CEO, Gerstner recounts the high-level meetings and explains the pressure-filled, no-turning-back decisions that had to be made. He also offers his hard-won conclusions about the essence of what makes a great company run.In the history of modern business, many companies have gone from being industry leaders to the verge of extinction. Through the heroic efforts of a new management team, some of those companies have even succeeded in resuscitating themselves and living on in the shadow of their former stature. But only one company has been at the pinnacle of an industry, fallen to near collapse, and then, beyond anyone s expectations, returned to set the agenda. That company is IBM.Lou Gerstener, Jr., served as chairman and chief executive officer of IBM from April 1993 to March 2002, when he retired as CEO. He remained chairman of the board through the end of 2002. Before joining IBM, Mr. Gerstner served for four years as chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco, Inc. This was preceded by an eleven-year career at the American Express Company, where he was president of the parent company and chairman and CEO of its largest subsidiary. Prior to that, Mr. Gerstner was a director of the management consulting firm of McKinsey Co., Inc. He received a bachelor s degree in engineering from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060523794

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