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IBM Names Palmisano to Replace Gerstner as CEO

NEW YORK (Jan. 29) - International Business Machines Corp. on Tuesday named
Samuel Palmisano chief executive officer of the world's largest computer
maker, effective March 1 to replace Louis Gerstner, who was widely expected
to step down this year.

IBM also said John Thompson, who is vice chairman, will retire from the
company and its board on Sept. 1.

Gerstner, whose contract expires on March 1 when he turns 60, will remain
chairman through the end of 2002. He is credited with turning the computer
maker around in the 1990s.

Palmisano has been expected to follow in Gerstner's footsteps since Palmisano
was named president and chief operating officer in July of 2000. He retains
his title as president, IBM said.

IBM shares were off 3 percent, or $3.71, at $104.50 in midday New York Stock
Exchange trading.

''Over the last decade, Sam Palmisano has taken on a number of IBM's most
significant challenges, from building the services business to transforming
our server line,'' Gerstner said in a statement.

Gerstner joined IBM in April of 1993 and helped push the company to build its
services business, which is now its largest division in terms of revenues.  

12:56 01-29-02

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