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Westporter John Akers, former IBM Head, 79

UPDATE John F. Akers of Westport, chief executive of IBM for eight years during the company’s struggle to shift from the mainframe to the personal computer era, died Aug. 22 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 79.

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John F. Akers: led IBM in turbulent times. Contributed photo

A spokesman for IBM said the cause was a stroke, The New York Times said. Akers was a 39-year Westport resident, making his home on Sturges Highway. The family also has a summer home in Nantucket.

He was born in Boston on Dec. 28, 1934, to the late Kenneth F. and Mary J. (Reed) Akers. Kenneth Akers headed the Boston office of the National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford. John Akers graduated from Yale University in 1956, was an All-Ivy League hockey player and received Yale University Athletics’ George H.W. Bush, Lifetime of Achievement Award in 2001.

Following Yale, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as a carrier pilot from 1956 to 1960 attaining the rank of lieutenant.

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