John F. Akers was named chief executive officer of IBM in February 1985. In June 1986, he assumed the additional position of chairman of the board. He retired from both positions on April 1, 1993 after 33 years of service to IBM.
A graduate of Yale, Mr. Akers joined IBM in 1960 as a sales trainee in San Francisco following active duty as a Navy carrier pilot. After various marketing assignments, he was named president of the Data Processing Division, then IBM's largest domestic marketing unit, in 1974 at age 39. He became a vice president in 1976, a senior vice president in 1982 and president in 1983.