Thursday, March 10, 2005

Arrogance is still the #1 characteristic of IBM

Author/Freelancer Dave Taylor writes:

But then Gerstner comes across as remarkably arrogant and elitist as he shares the "tedious obligation" of having to go to formal fundraising events for major charities, the experience of having a fancy multi-story apartment in a chic area of New York City and a second house on the beach in Florida. Yet when he joins IBM, Gerstner complains about the stodginess of the executive team but has no compunction flying around on the IBM corporate jet or having his "driver" show up in the morning to chauffeur him to the office.

I realize that when you're the boss of a multi-billion-dollar corporation, there are certain perquisites that not only go with the job, but are expected, but it seems awful disingenuous to talk about cutting costs, rethinking executive reporting structures, and maximizing the cash reserve of a company when you can't hop on a commercial flight or drive yourself to work...

On the plus side, the book is compelling, interesting listening so far, and Gerstner shows that he had a keen eye for corporate dysfunction and that IBM really was a company on the rocks, stifled and drowning in a frozen bureaucracy rife with "lifers". His description of how senior management meetings were nothing so much as the IBM version of multinational diplomatic negotiations is quite fascinating, for example.

Hmm.. any surprises there? The dinosaur is still the most arrogant animal in the forest (if only prehistoric & irrelevant).

No comments: