By Fortune Editors
September 20, 2012

Thomas J. Watson

Thomas J. Watson (1914-1952) Founding CEO, for whom the supercomputer is named
Courtesy: IBM

(1914-1952) Founding CEO, for whom the supercomputer is named


Thomas Watson Jr.

Thomas Watson Jr. (1952-1971) Succeeded his father, oversaw IBM's transformation into the big leagues
Courtesy: IBM

(1952-1971) Succeeded his father, oversaw IBM’s transformation into the big leagues


T. Vincent Learson

T. Vincent Learson (1971-1973) Hosted IBM's first day for women employees
Courtesy: IBM

(1971-1973) Hosted IBM’s first day for women employees


Frank T. Cary

Frank T. Cary (1973-1981) Identified the PC as a possible challenge to IBM's mainframes
Courtesy: IBM

(1973-1981) Identified the PC as a possible challenge to IBM’s mainframes


John R. Opel

John R. Opel (1981-1985) Got Bill Gates to create an operating system for IBM's personal computer
Courtesy: IBM

(1981-1985) Got Bill Gates to create an operating system for IBM’s personal computer


John F. Akers

John F. Akers (1985-1993) Missed tech trends and presided over IBM's decline
Courtesy: IBM

(1985-1993) Missed tech trends and presided over IBM’s decline


Louis V. Gerstner

Louis V. Gerstner (1993-2002) Turned IBM around with tough decisions and a push into IT services
Courtesy: IBM

(1993-2002) Turned IBM around with tough decisions and a push into IT services


Samuel J. Palmisano

Former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano
Courtesy: IBM

(2002-2011) Sold off PCs and kept IBM growing for a decade with a focus on software


Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty (2012-present)
Courtesy: IBM

(2012-present)

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