There's A New Way To Think Big Blue

Tech seldom delivers on its promises, but IBM's SAM PALMISANO plans to change that

Sam Palmisano has the easy, boyish grin and hearty laugh of the consummate salesman he has been for much of his 30-year career at IBM. He can seem quite a contrast to his predecessor as CEO, Lou Gerstner, a notoriously gruff, prickly outsider responsible for one of the greatest turnarounds in corporate history. But nearly a year after taking over the reins amid a lingering slump in corporate spending on technology, Palmisano, 51, has shown that he has sharp teeth behind that smile.

He has accelerated Big Blue's transformation from a hardware dinosaur to a technology-services dynamo--a firm that, rather...

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