Frank T. Cary
Frank Taylor Cary

(1920-12-14)December 14, 1920
DiedJanuary 1, 2006(2006-01-01) (aged 85)
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA)
Stanford University (MBA)

Frank T. Cary (December 14, 1920 – January 1, 2006) was an American executive and businessman. Cary served as the Chairman of IBM from 1973 to 1983 and CEO from 1973 to 1981.

Early life and education

Frank Taylor Cary was born on December 14, 1920, in Gooding, Idaho,[1] the son of Dr. Frank T. Cary and Ida Hayden.[2] After a short period of his birth, the family moved to Inglewood, California.[2] He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1943, then in 1948 earned his M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.[1][3]



Cary joined IBM in 1948 as a salesman in Los Angeles.[1] He held a variety of management positions and became president of the Data Processing Division in 1964.[4] Advancing through the management ranks, he became general manager of data processing and vice president after two years, then became a senior vice president in 1967, in the following year, he was appointed as a member of the board of directors, then joined the Corporate Office and the Management Review Committee.[3] In January 1973, Cary was named Chairman and CEO.

During his tenure as chief executive at IBM, he presided over a period of rapid growth in product, revenue and profit. His most notable accomplishment was recognizing that the personal computer was going to be an emerging product category that could ultimately be a threat to IBM.[need quotation to verify] Consequently, he forced the creation of a special, small dedicated group to spearhead an answer to Apple, within IBM but totally protected from the internal bureaucracy of a large corporation.

He stepped down from his position in 1981, remained a director until 1991.[3]

Boards and Committees

Cary was Chairman of biotechnology company Celgene Corporation from 1986 to 1990.[5] He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[6]

He joined the MIT Corporation in 1974 and became a life member in 1984. He served on several committees, including the committee of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.[1]

He served on the board of directors of JP Morgan, ABC, Texaco, and others. He also served on boards of many nonprofit organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History and Rockefeller University.[1]

Personal life and death

He was married to Anne (Curtis) Cary. They raised three sons, and a daughter.[1] His hobbies included skiing, tennis, and golf.[7] He died at the age of 85, at his home in Darien, Connecticut, on New Year's Day 2006.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Frank Cary, life member of Corporation, dies". Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Frank Cary, Past Chairman of I.B.M., Is Dead at 85". The New York Times. January 6, 2006. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Frank T. Cary". January 23, 2003. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  4. ^ Computerworld, March 10, 1980
  5. ^ "Frank Cary, 85; led IBM through 1970s". January 8, 2006. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Frank Cary, 67; IBM Head Instrumental in Push to Develop PCs". Los Angeles Times. January 5, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
Business positions Preceded byT. Vincent Learson CEO of IBM 1973–1981 Succeeded byJohn R. Opel