Lou Gerstner not short of a bob or two…

But still fails to execute on his boots

US wires are reporting that IBM supremo Lou "Boots" Gerstner got nearly $14 million salary in 1998, a monumental 70 per cent rise on 1997. This was in a year when Gerstner, formerly a tobacco baron at Nabisco, did a u-turn on the company's channel policy and said ne'er a word about his famous magic boots. The boots, long-standing readers will remember, would allow you to shake hands with someone and before you knew it, exchange all sorts of details. However, last year, we disclosed that the technology was immature, and you would actually have to get quite a bit closer to Lou to transmit anything worthwhile. Nevertheless, Lou has so much money in IBM share options that possibly he isn't too worried about the boots any more. ®

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