Growth has returned in virtually all company segments after several problems occurred. In 1995, IBM's
sales reached almost $72 billion, up more than 12 percent from 1994. For this, Gerstner and his team
deserve great credit. The company's profitability was also up by 42 percent, and shareholders have
richly rewarded: earnings per share rose by 44 percent. Even the mainframe market, the heart of IBM in
the 1970s and 1980s that critics pronounced dead in the early 1990s, has recovered, with new
mainframe computers bringing in substantial profit margins. Over the next few years, the company
successfully charts a new business course that focuses less on its traditional strengths in hardware and
more on services, software, and its ability to craft technology solutions. IBM has been granted more U.S.
patents than any other company. It was also awarded over 38,000 US patents and has invested about $5
billion a year in research, development, and engineering since 1996. IBM's current active portfolio is
about 26,000 patents in the U.S., and over 40,000 patents worldwide directly result from that
investment. IBM remains one of the world's largest computer companies and systems integrators. With
over 400,000 employees worldwide as of 2014, IBM holds more patents than any other U.S.-based
technology company and has twelve research laboratories worldwide. Later in 2009, IBM's Blue Gene
supercomputing program was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by U.S.
President Barack Obama. In recent years, IBM gained worldwide attention for its artificial intelligence
program Watson, which was exhibited on Jeopardy! where it won against game-show champions.
IBM's brand was valued at $75.5 billion and ranked by Interbrand as the third-best brand worldwide in
2012. It was also ranked the top company for leaders the number two green company in the U.S., the
second-most respected company, the fifth-most admired company, the 18th-most innovative company,
the number one in technology consulting, and the number two in outsourcing in the same year. In 2015,
Forbes ranked IBM as the fifth-most valuable brand, and for 2020, the Drucker Institute named IBM the
No. 3 best-managed company. Finding a way back to the growth and success of a company was painful
and challenging. Nevertheless, it illustrates that companies on the brink can turn things around if they
do what is necessary. Understanding that transformation is a constant and continuous process that can
never end is one of the ways to achieve success. As for the company to live longer, it must embrace the
notion that when faced with tough times, its goal must be not merely to survive but to succeed, and
success comes through leadership.