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March 10, 1988

JOHN AKERS IN COURT

By CBR Staff Writer

John Akers brought a little unexpected light relief to the sad business of deciding in a Lower Manhattan courtroom how much the lives of IBM’s pioneer of the Personal Computer Don Estridge, and his wife, were worth: Estridge was among those killed when a Delta Airlines L-1011 crashed at Dallas on August 2 1985, and lawyers for the couples’ estates are demanding $25m for Estridge, $5m for his wife, on the grounds that Estridge had been well placed to crown his career by landing the top job at IBM; Akers revealed that Estridge had turned down an offer to become chief executive of Apple Computer about six years ago, and in questioning what companies like IBM can do to hold on to their high-flyers, the judge alluded to a recent package put together for a key player by the local baseball team, to which Akers had to respond We don’t run the IBM company like the New York Yankees, your honour.

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