I spent my career with IBM and ended up on IBM’s Board of Directors with responsibility for manufacturing and procurement, business systems, and finally quality assurance for Asia-Pacific.
A couple of senior IBM executives had already found exciting second careers through TMT, and we got together for a dinner. TMT had a number of possible positions for me, and being in no hurry, I told Nevins-san not to do any more. At such times he conveniently plays deaf and set me up with the former president of Philip Morris for a lunch.
In 1983 – 1984, when Philip Morris started to invest seriously in Japan, Mr. Nevins did considerable consulting and established the Rules of Employment. TMT has also placed 18 people since 1985. The company had exciting prospects with the number one foreign share in tobacco. With the foods businesses, sales have broken the $1 billion level.
Not wanting to compete against IBM in any way, handling external and government affairs along with further building up the company’s human resources, just seemed crazy enough that it might really work. That is the opportunity I went for. Since I had already been on IBM’s board and Philip Morris had not yet made provisions for Japanese Torishimariyaku, Nevins-san also worked with Frank Rosa, the former president, to make this possible. In other ways he was also very sensitive to helping me make the transfer from the IBM organization with 26,000 local staff to Philip Morris with a much smaller number in our directly-owned operation. There was much to learn and it was fun and challenging.
Here at KLA, I am better able to use my IBM background in production and application technology. Mr. Nevins and TMT really get around. They had done some recruiting over the years, and he had been an advisor to Mr. Dean Lindholm, my predecessor here at KLA.
Mr. Nevins has been working with us to upgrade our retirement and benefits, and improve our practice and policy in the Rules of Employment area.
TMT and Mr. Nevins’ personal business ethics are also beyond reproach. When another senior IBM executive placed by TMT was dissatisfied and wanted to quit, another executive search firm may have been tempted to let the man resign and make a second placement, but Mr. Nevins and his consultants will first get involved, consult with the client and try and get the man they placed to stay.