When you think of corporate culture or corporations, it’s hard not to mention IBM in that sentence. One doesn’t think usually think of having a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company as a facebook/myspace junkie, which ours is not, but I’m very pleased to find him with his own Avatar and living in Second Life which is well publicized in Business Week.
There is a range of CEO types from Corporate stiff to major geek (name your startup here) and a million and one flavors in between. I’ve been on record saying how good a job I thought Lou Gerstner did (an 18 billion dollar turnaround is nothing to sneeze at) and Sam is doing an equally good (or better) job, albeit different given the hand he was dealt being different than Lou’s.
What’s great about this is that he can cross over boundaries to understand Second Life and actually be in a virtual world is unknown to CEO’s in his class. How great is that. I think of the virtual reality/video games lifestyle as a generationally younger (probably hipper than me) characteristic, yet the head of a 90 Billion dollar global enterprise can understand and participate. One man’s opinion here, but I always saw how much he interacts with our customers to understand and work with them, and this to me is further proof he’s not an ivory tower hermit like some CEO’s.
I’ll still bet my son can beat him in From Dirt to Daytona, or Star Wars, Empire at War, but Sam could understand and talk to him (as he does customers – the big key here) about it with the fluidity he can with Services or System Z….