|LOVE TO HATE HIM? Bob Djurdjevic, president of computer
industry-watcher Annex Research, has been a
persistent, vitriolic and occasionally off-the-mark critic of International Business
Machines Corp. and its chairman, Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
Despite IBM's turbocharged performance on Wall Street, the Phoenix-based
technology consultant has faulted Big Blue for buying back gobs of its own shares instead
of spending its excess cash to acquire other companies, and he dinged Mr. Gerstner for not
breaking IBM into smaller pieces. He has even dubbed the IBM chieftain "Louis XIX of
Armonk." IBM, which used to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year buying Annex
Research reports, has long since pulled its business with the firm, and Mr. Djurdjevic
isn't exactly a welcome guest at IBM facilities.
But despite Armonk's distaste, Mr. Djurdjevic's Web site
(www.djurdjevic.com) is a popular destination for IBMers. During one recent month, visits
from computer servers bearing the "IBM.com" address accounted for over 8% of
total hits -- the single highest source of visitors. In contrast, AOL users only account
for about 1.3% of visitors, Annex says. An IBM spokesman declines to comment on the IBM
fans of Mr. Djurdjevic's acerbic prose.
Easter on Wall
Street | "Ode du Hong Kong"
Sinner's Lullaby" | "A Gift and the