Louis V. Gerstner, the IBM chief who helped lift the big computer maker from its low point of the early 1990s, agreed to stay on for at least 4-1/2 more years after the board gave him a lucrative stock-options package.
Gerstner, 55, said the comeback he started at International Business Machines Corp. is far from done, a sentiment shared by many financial analysts. Despite streamlining the world’s biggest computer company with thousands of job cuts, Gerstner is still trying to shore up sales of many of its flagship computers and software.
In return for staying, Gerstner will receive options for 2 million shares of stock, the company said Friday. Gerstner, who is also chairman, was asked by the 8-member board to stay on at least until he turns 60 years old in March 2002.
Gerstner’s decision to stay was first reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal.
The latest stock options awarded Gerstner nearly equaled the 2.4 million Gerstner has received since joining IBM in 1993, which would be worth about $95 million today. Gerstner hasn’t sold any of those options, an IBM spokesman said.