who-owns-ibm

Who Owns IBM?

IBM is primarily owned by institutional investors like Vanguard Group (8.86%), BlackRock (8%), and State Street (5.93%). Top individual investors comprise Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM; senior vice president Michelle H. Browdy; James J. Kavanaugh, responsible for the company’s financial operations; and Alex Gorsky (board member) and Gary Cohn (former vice chairman).

AspectDescriptionAnalysisExamples
Products and ServicesIBM (International Business Machines Corporation) is a multinational technology company that offers a wide range of information technology (IT) products and services. IBM provides hardware, software, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, cybersecurity solutions, consulting services, and more to clients worldwide. The company’s offerings cater to various industries and sectors.IBM’s core offerings encompass hardware, software, and services designed to support businesses’ IT needs. The company is known for its innovation and contributions to the technology industry. A diverse portfolio addresses clients’ diverse requirements.IBM hardware (e.g., IBM Power Systems), software (e.g., IBM Watson), cloud computing (e.g., IBM Cloud), AI and data analytics solutions, cybersecurity services, IT consulting services, industry-specific solutions.
Revenue StreamsIBM generates revenue through various sources. The primary income comes from IT services, cloud services, software sales, and hardware sales. IBM also earns income from maintenance and support services, consulting services, and licensing agreements for its software products.Revenue from IT services, cloud services, software sales, and hardware sales represents significant portions of income. Maintenance and support services provide ongoing revenue streams. Consulting services contribute to diversified income. Licensing agreements for software products generate additional income.Revenue from IT services, cloud services (e.g., IBM Cloud revenue), software sales (e.g., IBM software solutions), hardware sales (e.g., IBM server sales), maintenance and support services, consulting services, licensing agreements for IBM software products.
Customer SegmentsIBM serves a diverse customer base that includes businesses, government organizations, educational institutions, and nonprofit entities. The brand appeals to clients seeking technology solutions, digital transformation, cloud services, AI, data analytics, and IT consulting services. IBM’s clientele spans various industries and sectors.IBM’s target demographic encompasses businesses and organizations across industries seeking technology-driven solutions. The brand’s expertise in IT services and innovation appeals to clients pursuing digital transformation and IT optimization.Businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, clients seeking technology solutions, digital transformation, cloud services, AI and data analytics, IT consulting services.
Distribution ChannelsIBM distributes its products and services through a global network of direct sales teams, business partners, and online platforms. The company also operates data centers and cloud infrastructure to deliver cloud services to clients worldwide.Direct sales teams engage with clients to provide tailored solutions. Business partners extend IBM’s reach and expertise. Online platforms enhance accessibility for digital customers. Data centers and cloud infrastructure support cloud service delivery.IBM’s direct sales teams collaborate with clients, business partners (e.g., IBM Business Partners), online platforms (e.g., IBM Marketplace), data centers, and cloud infrastructure (e.g., IBM Cloud data centers).
Key PartnershipsIBM collaborates with a network of business partners, including technology resellers, system integrators, and independent software vendors (ISVs). The company also forms strategic partnerships with other tech giants for joint ventures and initiatives. IBM may have research collaborations with academic institutions.Collaborations with business partners extend IBM’s product and service distribution. Strategic partnerships with tech giants drive innovation and market presence. Research collaborations with academia advance technology development.Collaborations with technology resellers (e.g., Ingram Micro), system integrators (e.g., Accenture), ISVs (e.g., SAP), strategic partnerships with tech giants (e.g., IBM and Red Hat), research collaborations with universities and academic institutions.
Key ResourcesIBM’s key resources include its technological expertise, research and development capabilities, global workforce, data centers, cloud infrastructure, patented technologies, software solutions, and a legacy of innovation. The company’s reputation as a technology pioneer is a significant resource.IBM’s technological expertise and R&D capabilities drive innovation. A global workforce supports the company’s operations. Data centers and cloud infrastructure enable cloud services. Patented technologies provide competitive advantages. Software solutions cater to diverse needs. IBM’s legacy as a technology pioneer is a valuable resource.Technological expertise, research and development capabilities, global workforce, data centers and cloud infrastructure, patented technologies, software solutions (e.g., IBM Watson), legacy of innovation, reputation as a technology pioneer.
Cost StructureIBM incurs costs in research and development, manufacturing of hardware, software development, marketing and advertising campaigns, employee salaries (including researchers and software engineers), cloud infrastructure maintenance, and operating data centers.Costs associated with research and development are substantial due to technological innovation. Manufacturing of hardware and software development require resources. Marketing and advertising campaigns promote IBM’s products and services. Employee salaries, especially for researchers and engineers, are significant. Cloud infrastructure maintenance and data center operations have associated expenses.Costs related to research and development of new technologies, manufacturing of hardware and software development (e.g., IBM software development costs), marketing and advertising campaigns, employee salaries (e.g., researchers, software engineers), cloud infrastructure maintenance, data center operations.
Competitive AdvantageIBM’s competitive advantage lies in its technological expertise, extensive portfolio of solutions, global presence, cloud capabilities, AI and data analytics prowess, and a legacy of innovation. The company’s focus on delivering end-to-end solutions to businesses sets it apart in the IT industry.IBM’s technological expertise and diverse portfolio cater to a wide range of client needs. A global presence ensures accessibility and support. Strong cloud capabilities and AI/data analytics leadership drive innovation. A legacy of innovation enhances credibility. A focus on comprehensive solutions is a key strength.IBM’s technological leadership, extensive portfolio, global presence, cloud capabilities (e.g., IBM Cloud), AI and data analytics expertise (e.g., IBM Watson), legacy of innovation, commitment to delivering comprehensive IT solutions.
Value PropositionIBM provides clients with comprehensive IT solutions, including hardware, software, cloud services, AI, and data analytics, to address their business and technology challenges. The company offers technological innovation, expertise, and support to enable digital transformation and business growth.IBM’s value proposition centers on delivering comprehensive IT solutions that drive business success. Technological innovation and expertise empower clients to navigate digital transformation. A commitment to support and partnership fosters long-term relationships.Achieving business goals with comprehensive IT solutions, harnessing technological innovation and expertise for digital transformation, benefiting from IBM’s commitment to support and partnership.

Top institutional sharedholres

  • The Vanguard Group is the largest institutional shareholder, holding 80,144,196 shares, which represents 8.86% ownership.
  • BlackRock Inc. is the second-largest institutional shareholder with 72,337,762 shares, amounting to an 8.0% ownership stake.
  • State Street Corporation ranks third among institutional shareholders, owning 53,576,165 shares and holding a 5.93% ownership stake.

Top individual shareholders

  • The top shareholder is Arvind Krishna, with 205,578 common stocks and a value of $28,963,884 at the fiscal year end.
  • Michelle H. Browdy holds the second-highest number of common stocks (103,913), with a fiscal year-end value of $14,640,303.
  • James J. Kavanaugh ranks third in terms of common stocks (112,968), amounting to a value of $15,916,062 at the fiscal year end.
  • Alex Gorsky and Gary Cohn hold significantly fewer common stocks (4,445 and 32,552, respectively) compared to the top three shareholders.
  • Despite having fewer common stocks, the fiscal year-end values for Alex Gorsky and Gary Cohn are still substantial at $4,008,321 and $4,586,251, respectively.

Background

IBM is a multinational corporation that is also the largest industrial research organization in the world. Today, the company’s core focus is on software, hardware, and middleware products as well as consultancy and hosting services.

IBM is synonymous with innovation and has a long and successful history. Some of this history is explained below.

Founding and early years

IBM was founded in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). CTR was in fact a holding company of four separate manufacturers that were amalgamated via stock acquisition by Charles R Flint. 

The four companies included:

  1. International Time Recording Company – a producer of time-keeping systems.
  2. Computing Scale Company – a producer of scales and other mechanical equipment.
  3. Tabulating Machine Company – this firm produced punch card tabulating machines used to process data, and
  4. Bundy Manufacturing Company – a manufacturer of time clocks and various other time-keeping devices.

CTR was renamed International Business Machines Corporation in 1924 and was headed by Thomas Watson. By this time, IBM’s business had expanded both functionally and geographically after three new factories were constructed in Europe. 

Product expansion and evolution

Under Watson’s leadership, IBM became the primary supplier of punch card tabulation systems. But what made the company stand out was a skilled and disciplined marketing department that could adapt the system to the particular needs of the customer. 

IBM expanded into electric typewriters in 1933 and later produced electromechanical calculators for the war effort that were the precursors to computers. However, it was not until Thomas Watson Jr. took over the company in 1952 that IBM decided to focus its efforts on this new and exciting field.

That same year, it released the IBM 701, the first large computer built with vacuum tubes. With the ability to execute 17,000 instructions per second, the 701 was used for government and research purposes but was later used by businesses for payroll and inventory management

Computer market dominance

By the 1960s, IBM produced 70% of the world’s computers and as many as 80% of those used in the United States. IBM achieved this dominant position because it was a large company that could afford to invest in research and development. It also utilized its prior marketing expertise and made a commitment to service and repair its own equipment. 

The System/360 was introduced in 1964, a “family” of computers with interchangeable software and equipment that was a bold departure from existing one-size-fits-all mainframes. In 1969, IBM started selling its components individually instead of in packages. 

IBM and the PC market

Despite its success to date, IBM was unable to use its size and credentials to dominate the PC market. The company entered in 1981 with the IBM Personal Computer, but new semiconductor chip technology meant smaller companies could enter and exploit advances in computer networks, graphics, and workstations. 

Over the 1990s and 2000s, IBM lost market dominance and started to downsize its operations. The company sold its magnetic hard drive business to Hitachi in 2002 and its PC division to Lenovo in 2005. It also purchased software manufacturers Lotus Development Corp. in 1995 and Tivoli Systems in 1996.

In the process, IBM moved away from commodity product manufacturing to focus on computer services, software, supercomputers, and scientific research. The company’s services segment quickly became a cash cow with growth of 20% per year, but new CEO Louis V. Gerstner resisted calls to split IBM into separate, independent companies. 

In 1997, IBM’s reputation as a supercomputer developer was cemented when its Deep Blue computer beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in a match. The company’s supercomputer heritage, proven track record in research and innovation, and focus on integrated services continue to be hallmarks today. 

Key takeaways:

  • IBM is a multinational corporation that is also the largest industrial research organization in the world. Today, the company’s core focus is on software, hardware, and middle products as well as consultancy and hosting services.
  • By the 1960s, IBM produced 70% of the world’s computers and as many as 80% of those used in the United States. The company reached this position with a significant investment in R&D, marketing expertise, and a commitment to repair its own products.
  • Despite its prior success, IBM was unable to use its size and credentials to dominate the PC market. In response, the company sold off some businesses, acquired others, and transitioned from a commodity product manufacturer to one with a focus on computer services, software, supercomputers, and scientific research.

Key Highlights

  • Ownership and Shareholders:
    • IBM is primarily owned by institutional investors, with Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street being the top three.
    • Vanguard Group owns 8.86% of IBM’s shares, BlackRock owns 8.0%, and State Street owns 5.93%.
    • The top individual shareholders include Arvind Krishna (IBM’s CEO), Michelle H. Browdy (senior vice president), and James J. Kavanaugh (responsible for financial operations).
    • Board members Alex Gorsky and Gary Cohn also hold shares, though fewer than the top three shareholders.
  • Company Background:
    • IBM, founded in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR), has a rich history and is known for its innovation.
    • The company’s focus has shifted over the years to software, hardware, middleware products, and consultancy services.
  • Founding and Early Years:
    • IBM’s predecessor, CTR, was formed by merging four separate manufacturers.
    • These manufacturers were involved in time-keeping systems, scales, punch card tabulating machines, and time clocks.
    • The company was renamed International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in 1924 under the leadership of Thomas Watson.
  • Product Expansion and Evolution:
    • Under Thomas Watson’s leadership, IBM became a primary supplier of punch card tabulation systems.
    • IBM expanded into electric typewriters in 1933 and produced electromechanical calculators for the war effort.
    • The company’s focus on computers intensified in 1952 under Thomas Watson Jr.
  • Computer Market Dominance:
    • By the 1960s, IBM had a dominant position in the computer market, producing a large portion of the world’s computers.
    • IBM’s System/360, introduced in 1964, offered interchangeable software and equipment.
    • The company’s commitment to R&D, marketing, and service contributed to its success.
  • IBM and the PC Market:
    • Despite earlier dominance, IBM couldn’t dominate the PC market due to new chip technology and smaller competitors.
    • IBM entered the PC market in 1981 but faced competition from companies exploiting advances in networking and graphics.
    • Over the 1990s and 2000s, IBM transitioned from commodity product manufacturing to focus on services, software, supercomputers, and research.
  • Transition and Innovations:
    • IBM sold its magnetic hard drive business and PC division, focusing on services and software.
    • The company’s services segment became a significant source of revenue.
    • In 1997, IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov, highlighting its expertise in research and innovation.
  • Current Focus:
    • Presently, IBM continues to focus on software, hardware, middleware, consultancy, and hosting services.

Related Visual Stories

IBM Business Model

IBM Revenue

ibm-revenue
In 2018, revenue was $80 billion. Revenue decreased to $77 billion in 2019. In 2020, revenue dropped further to $73.62 billion. The revenue saw a significant decline in 2021, reaching $57.35 billion. In 2022, revenue experienced a slight increase, amounting to $60.53 billion.

IBM Profits

ibm-profits
2019: Net income increased from $8.73 billion in 2018 to $9 billion, resulting in a 3.09% increase year over year. 2020: Net income decreased to $5.59 billion, reflecting a -37.89% change compared to 2019. 2021: Net income slightly increased to $5.74 billion, indicating a 2.68% increase year over year compared to 2020. 2022: Net income decreased significantly to $1.64 billion, showing a -71.43% change compared to 2021.

IBM Revenue Breakdown

ibm-revenue-breakdown
Software revenue increased from $23.42 billion in 2021 to $25 billion in 2022, resulting in a 6.73% growth year over year. Consulting revenue grew from $17.84 billion in 2021 to $19.1 billion in 2022, reflecting a 7.08% growth year over year. Infrastructure revenue rose from $14.2 billion in 2021 to $15.3 billion in 2022, indicating a 7.75% growth year over year. Financing revenue declined from $0.774 billion in 2021 to $0.645 billion in 2022, showing a -16.67% decrease year over year. Other revenue experienced a significant drop from $1.12 billion in 2021 to $0.453 billion in 2022, resulting in a -59.55% decrease year over year.

IBM Cost Structure

ibm-cost-structure
Software: Generated $25 billion in revenue. Contributed $19.94 billion in gross profit. Consulting: Produced $19.1 billion in revenue. Accounted for $4.86 billion in gross profit. Infrastructure: Brought in $15.3 billion in revenue. Generated $8 billion in gross profit.

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