Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., was named chairman and chief executive officer of IBM on April 1, 1993.
Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Gerstner served for four years as chairman and chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco, Inc. This was preceded by an 11-year career at American Express Company, where he was president of the parent company and chairman and CEO of its largest subsidiary, American Express Travel Related Services Company. Prior to that, Mr. Gerstner was a director of the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Co., Inc., which he joined in 1965.
A native of Mineola, New York, Mr. Gerstner received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Dartmouth College in 1963 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1965. In 1994 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of business administration from Boston College, and in 1997 honorary doctorate of laws from both Wake Forest University and Brown University.
A lifetime advocate of the importance of quality education, Mr. Gerstner is co-author of Reinventing Education: Entrepreneurship in America's Public Schools (Dutton 1994). He is vice chairman of the New American Schools Development Corporation and co-chairs Achieve, an organization created by U.S. Governors and business leaders to drive high academic standards for public schools in the United States. At IBM he has established Reinventing Education as the company's program in support of systemic school reform. Through Reinventing Education, IBM has initiated strategic partnerships with 22 states and school districts, which are utilizing IBM technology and technical assistance to eliminate key barriers to school reform and improve student performance. Mr. Gerstner is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
He has received numerous awards for his work in education, among them the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education - Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Distinguished Service to Science and Education award from the American Museum of Natural History.
Mr. Gerstner will be succeeded as chief executive officer by Samuel J. Palmisano on March 1, 2002, and will serve as chairman of IBM through the end of 2002.