A Return to the

By eweek  |  Posted 2006-01-22 Print this article Print

Ross Perot Era"> What was your biggest surprise when you came to EDS? It was really how fragmented the company had become in the GM years. Accounts acted as their own separate companies. It was not the EDS I knew. In the 80s, I used to run a company right down the street. We knew EDS. And they were just like us—very disciplined.
That was the Ross Perot era. Are you trying to return to the Ross Perot era in some ways?
Yes—the discipline, the metrics, the clarity, the accountability. It had gotten soft during the GM years? Yes. So youre getting the company back onto a fitness regimen with more rigorous discipline. Establishing cost standards and business metrics where none have existed. Developing significant technology to roll out and how were going to do it. Were just in the midst of this right now—driving down through the top 10,000 leaders in the company to create a highly aligned and clearly accountable organization. Click here to read more about GMs outsourcing model. Weve gone through a financial transformation and were in the midst of an organization transformation. Ross Perot was into people, wasnt he? I dont see him as numbers-driven. He wanted to find people he called "eagles" to run his company. This was a great organization with great morale. Our task is to rejuvenate leadership groups to make them look like the old ones and drive it down to the organization. Starting Sunday, were having the top 200 leaders here for two days to talk about how were going to change the organization and way we do business. Then we have another 2500 in for the big sales kickoff. Were pretty serious. It sounds like you want to re-think things and shuffle the deck—that further radical changes are contemplated. Not so much radical changes as were just turning up the dials on management effectiveness. Were a very complicated company and weve made a lot of good improvements in the last few years. A lot of that has been driven by major financial changes at the top, major technology programs and so forth. We want to engage the whole organization in running our business. Is acquisitions part of what might be on your plate for the coming year? We acquired Towers Perrin last year and were looking at a bunch of others to fill in gaps. When it comes time for you to leave EDS, what do you want your one big accomplishment, or legacy, to be? I knew the founders—I knew Ross, Mort Myerson. I remember EDS as a great company. Now, were respectable. I would like to restore the company to the leadership position. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses. ´


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