Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. to Become Chairman and CEO of IBM

New York -- March 26, 1993 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. will become chairman and chief executive officer of the company on April 1. Mr. Gerstner, 51, is currently chairman and chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco, Inc.

"I'm pleased to turn over leadership of IBM to Lou Gerstner, a proven, effective leader who will accelerate IBM's drive to improve competitiveness and profitability," IBM Chairman John F. Akers said.

James E. Burke, chairman of the Nominating and Executive Compensation Committee of the IBM board of directors, said, "Lou Gerstner brings to this challenge the precise credentials we sought in a leader for IBM. He is a superior business strategist and manager with a record of success at American Express and RJR Nabisco.

"Among his many accomplishments at American Express was trend- setting use of computer technology to gain strategic advantage. At RJR Nabisco, he solved complex financial problems. These skills will serve him well at IBM.

"Lou moves quickly to tackle big jobs. He challenges conventional wisdom as he constructs a comprehensive business strategy, and then he builds consensus and moves people toward common goals.

"Lou's leadership in community service and his devotion to excellence, customer service and respect for people make him the ideal person to build on IBM's strong positive values, while also driving needed change. He has had dramatic success in creating dynamic entrepreneurial cultures in large organizations," Mr. Burke said.

Mr. Gerstner said, "I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead IBM at a time of significant challenge for this great company, whose tradition of success and excellence is unsurpassed. IBM's strength is its people, with their technology skills, manufacturing prowess, and global marketing and services expertise. I look forward to working with them to return IBM to a path of growth and success."

Mr. Gerstner joined RJR Nabisco in 1989. In four years, he achieved a 42 percent increase in operating profits while cutting debt more than in half, increasing marketing investment by 36 percent, and cutting corporate expense 40 percent. He achieved a $1.4 billion swing in net income, from a net loss of $1.1 billion in 1989 to net income of $299 million last year.

In 11 years at American Express Company before joining RJR Nabisco, Mr. Gerstner was president of the Card Division, CEO of the Travel Related Services Company and president of the parent company. During his tenure, Travel Related Services achieved average compound annual earnings growth of 18 percent and an average return on equity of more than 25 percent. Card membership rose nearly 400 percent and sales of travelers checks doubled.

While president of American Express, Mr. Gerstner initiated and oversaw the initial growth of the company's First Data Resources unit, which became the fifth largest provider of computer services in the U.S. First Data Resources is the nation's largest independent processor of debit and credit card transactions, and also offers information-based electronic services.

Before joining American Express, Mr. Gerstner was a director of McKinsey & Co., Inc., which he joined in 1965. He graduated from Dartmouth with a B.A. in 1963, and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1965. He is a director of The New York Times Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Corp.

CONTACT: Rob Wilson of IBM, 914-765-6565

Copyright 1993 PR Newswire Association, Inc.