If Greulich is looking up at the dancing elephant, he’s certainly not also looking at the stars in this grim evaluation of IBM, its various CEOs, and what it needs to get back on track. Greulich, having spent 34 years at IBM in a variety of sales and technical positions before retiring, now seems compelled to revive “Big Blue” singlehandedly. His possibly overly simplistic solution is that “IBM needs a salesman-in-chief to restore balance.” Greulich revisits old wounds, such as pension plan changes during the 1990s and periodic cycles of traumatic layoffs, or “rightsizing.” All the while, he employs elephant-based metaphors as jabs at former Chairman Louis V. Gerstner Jr. and his book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?
, which recounted Gerstner’s historic rescue of IBM from the brink of insolvency in 1993. Greulich gets off some effective zingers, noting, for example, that today’s IBM staffers have updated software on their computers only if they bought it themselves. Despite his hard-earned insights, this book seems unlikely to capture the attention of either business leaders or students, since both groups are far more focused these days on the brave new business models embodied by the likes of Google. (BookLife)
Reviewed on 08/29/2014 |
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