Samuel J. Palmisano
Samuel J. Palmisano (born July 29, 1951) was president and chief
executive officer of
IBM until January 2012. He also served as
Chairman of the company until October 1, 2012.
Palmisano was appointed president and chief operating officer (COO)
effective in October 2000. He was promoted to CEO in March 2002,
while retaining the title of president, and named chairman effective
January 1, 2003. Palmisano announced on October 25, 2011 that he was
stepping aside as president and CEO. He was succeeded in these
positions by Ginni Rometty.
As of 2009
IBM was the largest IT company in the world and 45th
largest company overall.
1 Education and personal life
2.1.1 Chief Executive Officer
2.2 After IBM
Education and personal life
Palmisano grew up in an Italian-American middle class family in
Baltimore, Maryland. His father owned a body shop.
As an offensive lineman at
Calvert Hall College High School
Calvert Hall College High School in
Baltimore, Maryland he prepared earnestly, studying pregame scouting
reports and seldom missed a blocking assignment. He
was also a union musician, and once played backup saxophone for The
He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Johns Hopkins University
where he was member of Beta Theta Pi. He also played football (center,
offensive tackle, team co-captain) there, and turned down an
opportunity to try out with the Oakland Raiders.
He met his wife, Gaier Notman, a 1969 alumna of Miss Porter's School,
IBM training school.
IBM in 1973 as a salesman.
From 1989-1990, he served a one-year stint as executive assistant to
then-chairman and CEO John F. Akers. During that time Palmisano was
seen as a rising star and he had lunch with former chairman Thomas
Watson, Jr. once per month. Palmisano afterwards ran the company's
He was appointed senior vice president and group executive of the
Personal Systems Group in 1997. He was then promoted to senior vice
president and group executive of
IBM Global Services in 1998, during
the period when
IBM shifted its focus from pure technology to embrace
outsourcing and other services. He became senior vice president and
group executive of Enterprise Systems in 1999 when the systems group
drove IBM's move to adopt the
Linux operating system.
IBM Global Services, Palmisano led the
outsourcing business and before that he was president of an IBM
subsidiary—Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation—which
IBM Global Services.
Palmisano was elected president and chief operating officer (COO)
effective in October 2000.
Chief Executive Officer
Palmisano was promoted to CEO in March 2002 and named chairman
effective January 1, 2003, succeeding the retiring Louis V. Gerstner,
Jr. after the
Dot-com bubble bust. While his predecessor had saved the
company from bankruptcy by downsizing the work force and cutting
costs, and then leading IBM's resurgence with systems integration and
services consulting (such as e-commerce), Palmisano's goal was to
IBM as a standard-setting company. He was influenced by
the Watsons, the company founders who "always defined I.B.M. as a
company that did more than sell computers; they believed that it had
an important role to play in solving societal challenges".
Palmisano's mandate was to move into new unique businesses with high
profit margins and potential for innovation. This included purchasing
PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting in 2002, so that
IBM could go beyond
selling computers and software and help customers use technology to
solve business challenges (marketing, procurement and manufacturing).
During his tenure the company also acquired 25 software companies that
specialized in data mining and analytics, so that
IBM could help
companies and governments to find patterns in web and internal data.
Palmisano also prepared the company for cloud computing, originally
IBM as on-demand computing, where the center of
innovation would be services and software, delivered over the Internet
from data centers and connecting to PCs and other devices. In
2008, despite the financial crisis and economic recession , he
Smarter Planet initiative which applies computer
intelligence to create more efficient systems for numerous
applications including utility grids and traffic management.
Although the services and consulting businesses, which then-CEO
Gerstner had championed, provided the majority of IBM's revenue,
software analytics had higher margins and contributed more profits
while also having more growth.
Palmisano also led the sale of the PC group to
Lenovo which closed in
2005. The move was controversial inside
IBM at the time, as it had
been the inventor of the personal computer in the 1980s, and the PC
was one of the few products from the company that was widely used by
the masses and created strong brand recognition for IBM. Although it
fell behind rivals during the 1990s, that division helped to drive
sales of other I.B.M. products in corporate accounts, and its
purchasing power helped lower the cost of components for larger IBM
offerings like mainframes and servers. The PC industry was still going
strong at the time, and as IBM's PC group was profitable and generated
around $20 billion USD in yearly revenue, the divestiture resulting in
IBM ceding the title of the world's largest information technology
firm (by revenue) to Hewlett-Packard, the latter whose revenue had
increased due to the acquisition of
Compaq in 2002. However to
Palmisano, moving to new high-margin businesses meant exiting
low-margin businesses like PC manufacturing, plus PC manufacturing was
becoming commoditized and offered few opportunities for innovation. It
took five years but Palmisano was vindicated from 2010 onwards as the
Post-PC era of technology took hold, with smartphones and tablet
computers supplanting PCs as the primary computing devices of
choice. Also recognizing that drives were becoming a
commodity, he sold off IBM's disk drive business to Hitachi and then
signed a five-year deal to buy Hitachi drives.
As CEO of IBM, Palmisano has shifted many development and support
positions to emerging markets.
He was elected to the board of
ExxonMobil in 2006. He is also the
Chairman of National Engineers Week 2008.
In November 2008, Palmisano, during a speech at the Council on Foreign
Relations, outlined IBM's
Smarter Planet initiative.
While CEO of
IBM in 2009, Palmisano earned a total compensation of
$21,159,289, which included a base salary of $1,800,000, a cash bonus
of $4,750,000, stocks granted of $13,517,401, no options, and other
compensation of $1,091,888.
In 2010 Palmisano was awarded The Deming Cup, an excellence award
presented by the W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity,
and Competitiveness at Columbia Business School, for his ability to
IBM to new levels of operational excellence and for his role in
creating and leading IBM's Global Services business unit.
Palmisano announced on October 25, 2011, that he was stepping aside as
president and CEO, being succeeded by
Ginni Rometty effective on
January 1, 2012. Palmisano continued to serve as
Chairman of the
Board until October 1, 2012.
In May 2013
Bloomberg LP appointed Palmisano as an independent advisor
for the company's privacy and data standards.
In February 2016,
Barack Obama appointed Palmisano as the
Vice Chairman of a new
White House cybersecurity commission tasked
with helping the country better defend itself against and withstand
cyber attacks, The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
^ a b "Samuel J. Palmisano" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library).
The Complete Marquis Who's Who. Marquis Who's Who. Gale Biography In
Context. 2010. Retrieved 5 Feb 2011. Gale Document Number:
^ Glader, Paul (March 8, 2010). "
IBM CEO's Compensation Slips". Wall
Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-02-06. International Business Machines
Chairman and Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano received $24.3
million in total compensation for 2009, down slightly from the prior
year. Mr. Palmisano's base salary remained at $1.8 million for the
third consecutive year, but was supplemented by a bonus of $4.75
million and $13.5 million in stock awards linked to the company's
performance, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange
^ a b Feder, Barnaby J. (August 15, 2001). "MANAGEMENT; Waiting to
Call Plays for I.B.M." New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
^ a b Richtel, Matt (January 30, 2002). "A Gerstner Loyalist Cut From
Quite Different Style". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
^ "Samuel J. Palmisano" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library).
Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale Biography In Context. 2003. Retrieved 5 Feb
2011. Gale Document Number: GALEK1618003640
^ Thottam, Jyoti; Eisenberg, Daniel (Jan 20, 2003). "There's A New Way
To Think Big Blue". Time. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
^ a b c Lohr, Steve (October 25, 2011). "I.B.M. Names Virginia Rometty
as New Chief Executive". The New York Times. Retrieved
^ a b "Samuel J. Palmisano, CEO 2002 - 2011: full biography". News
room > Biographies. IBM. October 2012. Retrieved October 22,
^ a b "
Samuel J. Palmisano
Samuel J. Palmisano Named
IBM President, Chief Operating
Officer; John M. Thompson Named Vice Chairman".
IBM News room. July
24, 2000. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
^ Forbes International Business Machines 2009 Snapshot.
^ a b c "Senior Writer". CNN.
Miss Porter's School
Miss Porter's School 2009–2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Miss
Porter's School. 2010-12-03. p. 1 (2 of 34). Retrieved
^ "Samuel J. Palmisano".
^ Ribeiro, John (May 5, 2003). "IBMs Palmisano visits India".
^ "The W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity and
Competitiveness Awards Samuel Palmisano, President,
Chairman and CEO
IBM Corporation, The Deming Cup".
IBM News room. October 19,
^ 2009 CEO Compensation for Samuel J. Palmisano, Equilar
^ Twomey, Matt. "Bloomberg Appoints Former
IBM CEO as Privacy
Advisor". CNBC. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
^ Newman, Rick. "Obama appointee gave $100,000 to Jeb Bush's super
PAC". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
^ Darrow, Barb. "Former
IBM Chief Named to Obama Cybersecurity Team".
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
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Virginia M. Rometty
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Louis V. Gerstner Jr. (1993–2002)
Samuel J. Palmisano
Samuel J. Palmisano (2002–2011)
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Samuel J. Palmisano
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