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John Akers dies at 79; former head of IBM
John Akers dies at 79; former head of IBM

John Akers, chief executive officer at IBM for eight years during the company's struggles to adapt its dominance in mainframes to the personal-computer era, has died. He was 79. Akers died Friday in Boston, IBM said in a statement on its website. The cause was a stroke, according to company spokesman Ed Barbini. A former U.S. Navy pilot, Akers joined IBM in 1960 and stayed there for 33 years, until being ousted as chief executive in favor of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. chief Louis Gerstner — IBM's first top executive from outside the company — as financial losses mounted and the stock price skidded. Early in his IBM career, Akers was an executive assistant to Frank...

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