Lou Gerstner Profile Photo

Lou Gerstner

WSB Exclusive Speaker

Former Chairman and CEO, IBM

A relentless transformational leader who navigated shifting economic and marketplace realities to reinvent IBM, Lou Gerstner personifies today's global corporate leader: visionary, strategic, determined and intensely focused.

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Lou Gerstner Profile Photo

As the architect of IBM’s dynamic transformation, Lou Gerstner explains the imperative for a strong corporate culture, speedy execution, the challenges of growing business in less than ideal economic climate and the complex realities of doing business globally. Under his leadership, IBM moved from product manufacturer to service provider, opening up entirely new opportunities for the company. Gerstner’s principal belief is that these tumultuous economic times present great opportunities for companies to gain a competitive advantage and his prescription for pursuing growth and maintaining profitability are straightforward: set strategy, align resources, execute and deal swiftly with the increasingly complex global marketplace. Gerstner shares with his audiences the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s global business environment and offers advice based on his extraordinary career. His New York Times best-selling book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, chronicles IBM’s resurgence and provides a thoughtful look at leadership and transformation in action.

Featured Videos

Lou Gerstner Profile Photo
Lou Gerstner

Louis Gerstner Jr. at Strategy@Work Conference

Lou Gerstner Profile Photo
Lou Gerstner

State of U.S. Education Devastatingly Bad, Former IBM CEO (Louis Gerstner, Jr.)

Lou Gerstner’s Speech Topics

  • 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.

  • 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.

What other organizations say about Lou Gerstner

Lou’s outstanding general session certainly struck a chord with the audience, as did his candid views at the reception. It was one of the true conference highlights.

Financial Services


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