JOHN FELLOWS AKERS (December 28, 1934 – August 22, 2014) was a U.S. businessman. At International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), he was president between 1983 and 1989, the CEO from 1985 until 1993, and chairman between 1986 and 1993.
Akers attended Yale, and while there became a brother of Delta Kappa Epsilon (Phi chapter).
* 1.1 Legacy
* 2 Post-
Akers ascended to CEO as a result of support from his predecessor Frank Cary . In 1989, a young Sam Palmisano was appointed as Aker's assistant; decades later Palmisano would serve as chairman and CEO.
Akers was credited with simplifying the company's bureaucracy to focus more on profits. On January 29, 1988, in a sweeping restructuring intended to reverse three years of disappointing performance, Akers created five new, highly autonomous organizations responsible for all of the company's innovation, design and manufacturing. The moves were intended to greatly decentralize the company, which had been seen as bloated and unable to keep up with competition, and give significantly more responsibility to a younger generation of managers, while significantly reducing the role of the company's Armonk, N.Y., headquarters in the day-to-day operations. Under the plan, thousands of employees had to switch jobs or find themselves working for new managers. Akers' vision was to autonomize each division into "Baby Blues" with the aim of spinning them off from "Big Blue".
Akers also presided over a major downsizing of IBM's workforce, cutting down from 407,000 to 360,000 by the end of 1991. The company had previously had a lifetime employment policy but successive voluntary buyouts and the first-ever layoff in March 1993, caused a morale crisis. Akers also closed ten plants and trimmed manufacturing capacity by forty percent.
On Tuesday, January 26, 1993, Akers was forced to announce his
resignation, after several months of
The management coup was mounted by longtime
Akers retired as chairman and CEO of
Akers was chief executive during IBM's decline in the mid-1980s and
The company's difficulties weren't caused by Akers alone, as some
suggested that he was merely doing what he had been "programmed" to do
by an outdated "
Akers was also on the board of directors of
* ^ Bob Djurdjevic. "Akers: The Last Emperor (June 1991)".
Djurdjevic.com. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
* ^ Timothy Prickett Morgan (7 November 2011). "Ex-
* ^ Lohr, Steve (1993-01-20). "I.B.M. Posts $5.46 Billion Loss for
4th Quarter; 1992\'s Deficit Is Biggest in U.S. Business". The New
York Times . Retrieved 2017-03-25.
* ^ From LARRY BLACK in New York (1993-01-27). "