GREENWICH, Conn. -- Happy Birthday To Greenwich’s Lou Gerstner!
Louis Vincent Gerstner Jr., who has owned a home in Greenwich, turns 72 on Saturday. The business executive was born March 1, 1942, in Mineola, N.Y.
Gerstner joined American Express in 1978 as the executive vice president of its charge card division. Later, he was named president of the Travel Related Services group, which was responsible for American Express cards, traveler's checks, and travel-service offices. During Gerstner's tenure at American Express membership increased from 8.6 million to 30.7 million.
After 11 years at American Express, he left to become chairman and chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco.
He is best known for his tenure as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of IBM from April 1993 until 2002, when he retired as CEO in March and chairman in December. He is largely credited with turning around IBM's fortunes.
In January 2003, he assumed the position of chairman of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm located in Washington, D.C. After retiring in October 2008, he remains a senior adviser there. He has also become a mentor to Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony Corp., to help to turn around the Japanese corporation
He was named a Knight Commander of the British Empire and given a Knight of the British Empire for his services to United Kingdom education and his contribution to the Internet. He also received the Legend in Leadership Award from the Yale School of Management in 2008.