1971. After an interim period of leadership by T. Vincent Learson, Frank T. Cary took over the company in 1973. Watson served as U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1979 to 1981 and remained a member of IBM's board of directors until 1984. He died in 1993 at the age of 79.The 1970s saw the end of more than a half-century of Watson family leadership. Thomas J. Watson, Jr., stepped down as CEO in
During Cary's tenure, the computer industry expanded and wove its way into everyday life. The floppy disk, introduced in 1971, became the standard for storing personal computer data. When people shopped for groceries, IBM's supermarket checkout station, introduced in 1973, used glass prisms, lenses and a laser to read product prices. Also in 1973, bank customers began making withdrawals, transfers and other account inquiries via the IBM 3614 Consumer Transaction Facility, an early form of today's Automatic Teller Machines.