Incorporated in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R), the origins of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) can be traced back to the 1880s, when Dr. Alexander Dey invented the first dial recorder in 1888. Dey’s business later became one of the core foundations of C-T-R, along with Harlow Bundy’s Bundy Manufacturing Company, which produced the world’s first employee time clock. More recently, IBM has put its focus on software and cloud computing, and those who have helped the company gain market share in these areas are the largest individual shareholders in the iconic computing company.

Here are the top 5 individual shareholders in IBM, as reported by Yahoo Finance.

Steven Mills

Steven Mills joined IBM in 1973, after graduating from New York’s Union College, and he retired at the end of 2015. He held various executive leadership positions in his 40-plus-year career with Big Blue, and had been the company’s executive vice president of software and systems and senior vice president of IBM’s software group. Under his leadership, the software group acquired over 30 software firms since 2001, and Mills was responsible for directing over 110,000 employees. In 2010, Mills reportedly turned down the chief executive officer (CEO) position at HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) to remain at IBM. According to a Dec. 30, 2015, SEC filing, Mills held 156,203 shares of IBM stock, more than twice as many as any other single shareholder.

Robert LeBlanc

The former senior vice president of IBM Cloud, Robert LeBlanc oversaw the company’s cloud portfolio of technology and services. He held a wide variety of technical and leadership positions in all facets of IBM's operations, including software, services and systems, since joining the company in 1981. While IBM’s overall revenue was down in 2016, cloud services continued to grow, bringing in $11 billion. As of an August 2016 SEC filing, LeBlanc owned 61,395 shares of IBM stock. LeBlanc announced his retirement in January 2017. 

Martin Schroeter

Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer of IBM, Martin Schroeter has held a number of positions during his tenure at IBM. Before his current position, he was the General Manager of IBM global financing from 2011 to 2014. Schroeter is the third largest individual shareholder, with 39,522 shares to his name as of Jun 7, 2017. 

Jon Iwata 

IBM’s first chief brand officer, Jon Iwata leads a global team responsible for marketing the company’s entire product line. Iwata joined IBM in 1984, working at its Silicon Valley research center. He was named vice president of corporate communications in 1995 and senior vice president of communications in 2002, before being appointed to his current role in 2008. Iwata has a reputation for innovation and is the creator of Think Academy, a mobile- and cloud-delivered online university. Iwata also played a large part in developing IBM’s strategic brand platforms, including e-business, Smarter Planet and Watson. As of November 2016, Iwata owned 34,853 shares of company stock.

Robert Picciano

Robert Picciano began his IBM career in 1987 as a software developer, and is currently the senior vice president of analytics. He oversees IBM’s global teams focused on big data and analytics solutions tailored by industry. Before heading the analytics group, Picciano was the general manager of IBM’s Lotus groupware business, overall software sales and development and support of the DB2 database. As of November 2016, Picciano held 34,039 shares of IBM stock, making him the fourth-largest individual stakeholder.


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