IBM (NYSE: IBM) today is marking the 100-year anniversary of its founding on June 16, 1911. To celebrate the milestone, the company today released a book, “Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company,” debuted a new film “Wild Ducks” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksQrJh7s7N0] and marked the anniversary by ringing the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
During its first century, IBM has played a leading role in transforming business, science and society. The company’s history can be seen as a succession of key milestones – from investing in a research lab in the depths of the Great Depression, to developing the first hard disk drive that created the data storage industry, to working with the U.S. government to develop the Social Security System. It continued with such “big bets” as a radical new computing model, the System/360 mainframe, the invention of the UPC code, the invention of the IBM Personal Computer that launched the PC revolution, and the recent development of Watson, the computer that triumphed on the TV game show Jeopardy!.
“IBM Middle East has worked alongside many of the region’s largest organisations and academic institutions to bring its latest technologies to the region since 1947. We’ve formed a strong relationship with many countries in the Middle East thanks to our leadership across a huge range of technologies, including supercomputers, integrated solutions, software, services and technologies catering to small and medium businesses as well as large enterprises,” said Takreem El-Tohamy, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa. “As IBMers across the world celebrate 100 years of great achievements and take pride in having the best resources of scientific expertise that have transformed and touched just about every aspect of our daily lives; we are planning hard for an even more innovative 100 years to come.”
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano identified the key lesson IBM has learned over 100 years: In order to succeed for the long term, you must manage for the long term. “For IBMers, long-term thinking means continually moving to the future,” he said. “IBM has survived and thrived for 100 years by remaining true to our core values, while being ready to change everything else. This has allowed us to transform technology, business and society through our first century, and we believe it will enable us to achieve even more in our second.”
One of the oldest living IBM alumni, Luis A. Lamassonne is 105 years old and resides in Miami, Florida. He joined IBM in 1933 and worked at the company for 38 years, rising to become an executive in Latin America.
Reflecting on IBM’s Centennial today, Lamassonne said, “IBM has always been one of the best companies. The company is special because of the people. I have faith that IBM will survive for many more years, for another century.”
Series of IBM centennial initiatives planned
IBM will use its Centennial to engage with business leaders, academia, clients and local communities in the 170 countries the company does business through a year-long initiative.
IBM Centennial celebration highlights include:
Book – IBM is releasing a business book entitled, “Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company.” Written by award-winning journalists Steve Hamm, Kevin Maney, and Jeffrey M. O’Brien, the book chronicles the ways the world has changed over the past century in technology, business and the way progress happens, and the role IBM has played in these changes.
Films – IBM is debuting short films throughout the year to celebrate the company’s corporate culture and innovations. IBM is debuting “Wild Ducks” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksQrJh7s7N0], a tribute to IBM clients who have defied conventional wisdom through new approaches to building their business. They include Howard Shapiro, chief scientist at the Mars Corporation, and Sunil Mittal, founder and CEO of Bharti Enterprises, the largest telecom company in India. “Wild Ducks” is directed by Davis Guggenheim, an Oscar-winner for the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” The new film follows other IBM Centennial films this year: “100 x 100” – a fast-paced, year-by-year chronicle of IBM’s history, and “They Were There,” which explores significant moments in IBM history told through first-person accounts by key innovators including the invention of the UPC code, helping to put a man on the moon, and developing the Personal Computer.
Celebration of Service – Throughout the year, IBM employees worldwide will significantly increase service in their local communities. On June 15, more than 300,000 IBM employees, retirees, their families and clients donated more than 2.5 of service), applying their business skills and work experiences to address community challenges and societal needs. Additionally, the company is expanding its community service grants by 140 percent over the previous year for not for profit organizations globally that partner with IBMers in their service activities.
Icons of Progress – IBM has curated 100 milestones that have shaped the company and the world in the last century – from the technology driving the Social Security System in the U.S., to the invention of the floppy disk, the creation of the first corporate science research laboratory, and the establishment of the Corporate Service Corps (a corporate version of the Peace Corps). Rich content and unique visual marks illustrate the 100 Icons of Progress. The list is being revealed throughout the year.
IBM Colloquia – Through a series of business and academic forums, IBM will convene key influencers to spur conversations about future advances in science and technology and how they will affect such fields as health care, environment and the information technology (IT) industry. The colloquia will convene scientists, academics, business and government leaders at IBM Research laboratories around the world to discuss how emerging trends will impact business and society. IBM will hold events in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.
IBM Lecture Series – IBM is partnering with leading universities around the world to engage tomorrow’s leaders in discussions about what 100 years has taught it about driving progress in business, technology and society. The series includes lectures by senior IBM executives at universities such as Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, HEC Paris in France, Tsinghua and the University of Chicago in the U.S.
THINK – A Forum on the Future of Leadership – In September, IBM will engage and convene 700 leaders at a forum in New York City to discuss the forces that are making our planet smarter and creating enormous potential for economic growth and societal progress. The company will explore the role of the modern corporation in realizing this potential, and it will examine how our model of leadership must evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century across business, technology and society.