Commenting in August 1984 on Bloch's imminent September 1 retirement -- after 32 years of service -- IBM chairman of the board John R. Opel said: "Erich played an early and continuing leadership role in IBM's technology development. His commitment to the enhancement of technical vitality programs will help ensure that IBM people remain on the leading edge of this industry. We will miss him and we wish him well in his new career." Upon retirement, Bloch became the director of the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.
The following is the text of a corporate biography published in April 1984.
Erich Bloch, IBM vice president and head of the corporate technical personnel development staff, joined IBM in 1952 as an engineer in Poughkeepsie.
He held a number of positions there and was named director of the Poughkeepsie laboratory in 1968. He became a member of the Corporate Technical Committee in 1972 and, in 1975, was named general manager of the East Fishkill facility. While there, in 1976, he was made a vice president of the System Products Division, later the Data Systems Division. Mr. Bloch was named assistant group executive, technology, Data Processing Product Group in 1980. He became head of the corporate technical personnel development staff in August 1981 and was elected an IBM vice president in the following month.
Mr. Bloch studied electrical engineering at the Federal Polytechnic Institute of Zurich (Switzerland) and received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Buffalo, New York.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is on the Board of Directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and is the chairman of the Semiconductor Research Cooperative (SRC).