The electronics industry is an extremely competitive arena with computing producing a great business leader almost every decade, a person who changes the face of computing forever. Samuel Palmisano brought IBM in 2009 to be ranked as the most powerful business in Silicon Valley, and internationally as the number one IT company through his vision. With his dedication and smart outlook on business, Palmisano became the business leader that was heralded by Forbes, before stepping down, as one of the greatest CEOs ever seen. With a long and sterling career that rebuilt the business empire of IBM into the strong force it is today, his 10 year tenure of service from 2002 until the first of January 2012 has seen Palmisano leave a legacy in the world of computing due to his business leader acumen.
Early beginnings of a business leader
Samuel was born to an average American family in the suburbs where his dad owned an automotive body shop. With a strong catholic upbringing, Palmisano showed early signs of being the strong leader that would emerge in business in the coming years as he was leader of football teams and was often seen studying tactics and strategies for the team to attempt in upcoming games. He was a solid footballer all through college and even turned down opportunities to try out for the Oakland Raiders and balanced the physical with an understanding of music, playing the saxophone with some skill and dexterity in his youth. His career started at the same place it ended without moving around with multiple office search exercises, starting out with IBM as a simple salesman and rose through the ranks, learning every in and out of the business. As a natural leader he held management positions and eventually rose to the position of CEO after years of amazing and profound service.
Creating the IT highs
In 1997, Samuel Palmisano was elevated to the position of Senior Vice President for PSG (Personal Systems Group) before being asked to head up the IBM Global Services Division where he changed the face of the Silicon Valley Company with his expertise by changing of the dynamics of the IT business. This leader changed the focus of IBM to Linux systems and carefully monitored the international expansion, with some even saying he decided on even small details, such as which offices to rent in new areas! With these new expansions, Samuel cemented the new outsourcing model of IBM that led them to the global position as one of the most lucrative IT companies with annual turnovers exceeding those of Microsoft. Currently this business leader is on the board of Exxon Mobil and has been awarded the position of Chairman of Engineer awards week 2008. After an illustrious career and awards from Columbia University, Palmisano stepped down as business leader of IBM in January 2012, handing over the reins to Ginni Rometty and leaving a legacy simultaneously.
Dave Peterson is an experienced blogger with a keen interest in business and the company leaders of our generation.