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The Wall Street Journal

November 25, 1998

Published on the front page of the MARKETPLACE section; the "DIGITS" sub-section

Djurdjevic: Love to Hate Him?

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.


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