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Empty Chairs In Ibm's Boardroom


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EMPTY CHAIRS IN IBM'S BOARDROOM

Who's left on IBM's board? On Feb. 22, Big Blue announced that three more directors would leave the company--most notably, John Opel, 69, a former chairman. Since Louis Gerstner took over as CEO last April, eight out of 18 directors have resigned. Most IBM watchers expected Gerstner to replace the company's passive board with more active, technology-savvy names. So far, though, only one replacement has been appointed: Charles Knight, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric. Analysts speculate that Gerstner may approach Eastman Kodak CEO George Fisher and Jack Welch, chairman and CEO of GE. At Gerstner's invitation, Welch has spoken to IBM's top brass about his management philosophy. Mr maybe Gerstner will just decide to save the $55,000 annual fee each board member receives.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS


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