The Colossus That Works

COVER STORY

Big Blue uses salesmanship and innovation to bestride the computer world

IBM. Three of the most famous letters in American business. For years the International Business Machines Corp. towered over the office-equipment industry. Then in the 1970s, besieged by Government antitrust charges and challenged by ambitious new rivals, the giant seemed to be staggering, and those three famous letters lost a bit of their luster. Was IBM's dominance in jeopardy?

Not a chance. Under the direction of John Opel, 58, who became chief executive officer in January 1981, the firm has been acting like its brashest...

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