Samuel J. Palmisano Named IBM President, Chief Operating Officer; John M. Thompson Named Vice Chairman

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 24 Jul 2000: IBM today announced that Samuel J. Palmisano has been named president and chief operating officer of the company, and John M. Thompson has been named IBM vice chairman. Mr. Palmisano and Mr. Thompson will report to IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

"As we enter the next phase of IBM's transformation, we need a new organizational approach that will strengthen our focus on both day-to-day marketplace results and future growth opportunities," Mr. Gerstner said. "I believe this new structure is the best way to accomplish these goals, under the leadership of two of IBM's most experienced and capable executives."

As part of today's announcement, Mr. Palmisano will assume responsibility for IBM's operating units, including all product and services divisions as well as the company's sales and distribution and global financing businesses. Mr. Thompson will be responsible for integrating and accelerating IBM's efforts in emerging growth areas such as next-generationInternet and wireless technologies, Linux and life sciences.

The appointments are effective Sept. 1. Mr. Palmisano and Mr. Thompson are expected to be elected to the IBM Board of Directors at its next meeting tomorrow.

Mr. Palmisano, 48, joined IBM in 1973. Prior to today's announcement, he was senior vice president and group executive in charge of IBM's server and enterprise storage business. Among other executive-level positions, he also has served as group executive for the company's services and personal computer units. Mr. Palmisano is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Thompson, 57, joined IBM in 1966. Before today's announcement, he was senior vice president and group executive of the IBM Software Group. Mr. Thompson also has run the company's server business and has held a variety of other executive-level marketing and product development positions. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario.

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