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Ruthless Execution: What Business Leaders Do When Their Companies Hit the Wall by Amir Hartman

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Chapter 6. The Executioner: Lou Gerstner Imposes a New Discipline at IBM

Lou Gerstner, the man who took over IBM in 1993, a perilous time for Big Blue when it was floundering, exemplifies the notion of discipline better than anyone else in U.S. business.

When Gerstner joined IBM on April 1, 1993, the board of directors asked him to focus on a single short-term objective: saving the company. He admitted afterwards that, given his limited knowledge of the company, he had no way of knowing whether that could be done, or how long it might take.

Gerstner saved the day by realizing that the problem IBM had been suffering from over the years had nothing to do with the quality of its products, but with the agonizing fact that THE MANAGEMENT HAD NOT BEEN ...

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