IBM is becoming leaner and more aggressive, better positioned in our readiness to take on competitors in every niche of the marketplace and pursue the opportunities each of them contains, chairman John Akers told shareholders at the annual meeting in Richmond, Virginia yesterday. The most important factor in the company’s transformation was the recent reorganisation into largely autonomous lines of business – the most significant in many years. The company was also strengthening customer and marketing partnerships; had a stronger product line; and increased operating efficiency. IBM has held numerous meetings with customers worldwide, reported Akers, in order to understand their plans for their businesses, receive their guidance for ours and discuss our strategies for future products and systems. In addition, We have redefined our relationships and enhanced our ability to work with software vendors, agents, authorised dealers and other industry remarketers. Products introduced in 1987 would account for half the company’s 1988 shipments, and we expect the product introductions this year to be even more significant to our customers, said Akers. He also said MCI’s buy-back of IBM’s 16% stake in it would be over several years.