MIA: You marched up to me, looked me right in the eye and said, ‘I’m here for a job. Any job.’
LORELAI: Well, IBM had turned me down for the CEO slot, so I was desperate.
IBM is an acronym for the International Business Machines Corporation, a tech company headquartered in Armonk, New York, founded in 1911 by businessman Charles Ranlett Flint as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, receiving its current name in 1924. It is nicknamed Big Blue.
One of the largest companies in the world, IBM produces and sells computer hardware and software, and provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. It’s also a major research organisation, which has invented such things as the automatic teller machine, the floppy disc, the hard drive, magnetic stripe cards, and barcodes. IBM employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science.
When Lorelai was job-hunting in 1986, the CEO of IBM was John Fellows Akers (1934-2014), a Yale alumnus who had only been in the role a year. In 2001, the CEO of IBM was businessman Lou Gertsner (born 1942), who took the role in 1993. He is largely credited with turning the company’s fortunes around, and was the first to be hired from outside the company.