UK: BEATEN BY THE GADFLIES - IBM.

UK: BEATEN BY THE GADFLIES - IBM. - IBM's corporate conceit has blinded it to the changes in the industry.

by Roger Eglin, associate business editor of The Sunday Times.

IBM's corporate conceit has blinded it to the changes in the industry.

For 30 years the world computer industry was captured by the belief that IBM was unassailable. It was a conviction that IBM's top management came to share as well. Now they and the company, whose value has slipped to a mere quarter of what it was five years ago, are paying for their complacency. A moment's historical reflection should have reminded John Akers and his colleagues that the greatest empires can slip into decline, however invincible they may seem. But it was a lesson that went unheeded. Now Akers is standing down as chief executive.

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