Elected in 1984
“For outstanding engineering, technical, and management leadership in applying leading-edge computer technology to innovative data processing products.”
BY NICHOLAS M. DONOFRIO
JACK KUEHLER, an electrical engineer and former president and vice chairman of the IBM Corporation, died on December 20, 2008, in Rancho Santa Fe, California. He was 76.
Hired in 1958 as an associate engineer at IBM’s San Jose Research Laboratory, Jack went on to become the highest-ranking technologist at IBM and a mentor to a generation of IBM managers and technical professionals. He guided IBM’s highly successful launch into the open-standard workstation computing marketplace and was the architect of a series of alliances that not only restored IBM’s position as a global technology leader but also shored up America’s technological competitiveness.
Jack was revered by the global IBM technical community, not only for his leadership, intellect, and warm manner but also for his example. He was the first engineer to become IBM president, a standout in a company whose senior executives normally rose through the sales or marketing ranks. He also was IBM’s most senior proponent of “wild ducks,” an IBM term for engineers and other technical employees who refused to accept the status quo.