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August 1st, 2002
Land of Wandering Souls
Profits and Principles: 5. Computer - IBM


The 2001 book “IBM and the Holocaust” proved a public-relations bombshell for this global technology leader. In it, author Edwin Black charged IBM with providing the data-sorting machines vital to Adolph Hitler’s final solution. A federal lawsuit filed simultaneously with the publication of Black’s book alleged that IBM “provided equipment, support and training for Nazi personnel who collected data about Jews, homosexuals, and other racial and ethnic minorities, then used that data to more efficiently manage Germany’s massive slave labor and concentration camp system.”


In stark contrast, IBM this year garnered a number one ranking from BUSINESS ETHICS magazine in its 2002 Social Responsibility Report, thanks to especially high “returns to Women and Minorities.” IBM, which employs more than 300,000 people in more than 160 countries, uses manager incentives to encourage hiring and promotion of women and minorities. The company also makes loans to minority-owned suppliers. In addition, IBM was ranked first among 50 companies by CAREERS & THE DISABLED magazine for accommodating disabled workers and supporting disabled internships in the technology field.

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