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Louis Gerstner, Jr.  

Former Chairman & CEO of IBM

Lou Gerstner engineered one of the most dramatic turnarounds in corporate history, transforming IBM, a failing organization, into one of the most dynamic companies in the world.

Louis Vincent Gerstner, Jr. was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of IBM from April 1993 until 2002 when he retired as CEO in March and chairman in December. He was formerly CEO of RJR Nabisco, and also held senior positions at American Express and McKinsey & Company.

After leaving IBM, he assumed the position of chairman of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm located in Washington, DC. He retired from that position in October 2008 and remains a senior adviser to The Carlyle Group.

In January 2013, Broad Institute announced that Gerstner will serve as Chairman of Broad Institute Board of Directors

Speech Topics


Leadership and Transformation: A Conversation With Lou Gerstner

Changing a culture is near impossible—and a key reason as to why so many great companies fail. So was the case of corporate stalwart IBM, whose lumbering corporate culture held back innovation and threatened the financial stability of the once-great technology company. By rewarding teamwork, embracing a take charge culture and improving employee morale with the introduction of pay for performance, Lou Gerstner’s transformational leadership unleashed one of the most improbable turnaround story’s in corporate history. In a moderated question and answer format, Gerstner shares his lessons from IBM and shows how today’s business leaders can learn from the challenges and issues he faced at the helm of one of the most recognized companies in the world. Gerstner invites audiences to participate in a discussion about the most pressing business issues their organization currently faces, providing candid insight from his three decades of experience as one of the most successful and effective CEOs in modern times.

The Crisis in our Schools

No American business leader has been more consistently and passionately involved in the struggle to reform K-12 public school education than Lou Gerstner. The author of the book Reinventing Education, the host of three National Education Summits, and co-founder of Achieve Inc., Gerstner provides his perspective on the education reform movement, and the impetus for a national commission he recently created to drive change in all aspects of the teaching profession in America - from recruitment to training and compensation.

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