IBM Makes More Money, Selling Less of What People Want

IBM offices in New York Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

There are times when you just have to sit back and marvel at all the things IBM does right. IBM, for example, has mastered the art of the CEO transition. It’s had three CEOs in the past 20 years, vs. Hewlett-Packard’s four CEOs in the last 30 months. IBM sold off low-margin businesses like PCs and hard drives ages ago and headed upmarket to services and software. HP and Dell are still trying to figure out how to ape this strategy. IBM’s share price sits near its all-time high, while shares of HP and Dell have plummeted to the point that both companies have become targets for private equity companies and acquirers.

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