1. What is a “stockholder of record”?
A stockholder of record or registered stockholder (“record owner”) is a stockholder whose ownership of IBM stock is reflected directly on the books and records of our transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. If you hold IBM stock through a bank, broker or other intermediary, you are not a stockholder of record. Instead, you hold our stock in “street name,” and the “record owner” of your shares is your bank, broker or other intermediary. If you are not a registered stockholder, please understand that the Company does not know that you are a stockholder, or how many shares you own.
2. I want to attend the Annual Meeting. What procedures must I follow?
Admission to the Annual Meeting will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and an admission ticket and picture identification will be required to enter the meeting. Any individual arriving without an admission ticket will not be admitted to the meeting unless it can be verified that the individual is an IBM stockholder as of the record date for the meeting.
For stockholders of record: An admission ticket is attached to the proxy card sent with this Proxy Statement.
For holders in street name: Stockholders holding IBM stock in bank or brokerage accounts can obtain an admission ticket in advance by sending a written request, along with proof of stock ownership (such as a brokerage statement) to our transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A., P.O. Box 43072, Providence, RI 02940. If you hold your shares in street name and you wish to vote those shares at the meeting, you must also request a “legal proxy” directly from your bank, broker or other intermediary well in advance of the meeting and bring it to the meeting. Contact your bank, broker or other intermediary for specific information on how to obtain a legal proxy in order to attend and vote your shares at the meeting.
3. Are there specific restrictions on attending the Annual Meeting, and what I can bring with me into the meeting?
This is a meeting for stockholders, and security at the meeting is very important. You will be asked to walk through an electronic screening device before entering the meeting hall. In addition, cameras, cell phones, recording equipment and other electronic devices will not be permitted to be brought into the meeting.
4. What is the “record date” for the Annual Meeting?
February 29, 2008.
5. Which IBM shares will be entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting?
IBM’s common stock ($.20 par value capital stock) is the only class of security entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting. Each stockholder of record and each stockholder who holds stock in street name at the close of business as of the record date is entitled to one vote for each share held at the meeting, or any adjournment or postponement.
6. Which IBM shares are included in the proxy card I received?
For stockholders of record: The proxy card you received covers the number of shares to be voted in your account as of the record date, including any shares held for participants in the IBM Investor Services Program and Employees Stock Purchase Plans.
For stockholders who are participants in the IBM Stock Fund investment alternative under the IBM 401(k) Plus Plan (formerly known as the IBM Savings Plan): The card serves as a voting instruction to the Trustee of the plan for IBM shares held in the IBM Stock Fund as of the record date.
For holders in street name: You will receive a voting instruction form directly from your bank, broker or other intermediary containing instructions on how you can direct your record holder to vote your shares. Contact your bank, broker or other intermediary if you have any questions regarding your IBM stockholdings as of the record date.
7. May I vote my shares in person at the Annual Meeting?
For stockholders of record: Yes. However, we encourage you to vote by proxy card, the Internet or by telephone even if you plan to attend the meeting. If you wish to give a proxy to someone other than the individuals named as proxies on the enclosed proxy card, you may cross out the names appearing on the enclosed proxy card, insert the name of some other person, sign the card and give the proxy card to that person for use at the meeting.
For holders in street name: Yes, but in order to do so you will first have to ask your bank, broker or other intermediary to furnish you with a legal proxy. You will need to bring the legal proxy with you to the meeting, and hand it in with a signed ballot that you can request at the meeting. You will not be able to vote your shares at the meeting without a legal proxy and a signed ballot.
8. Can I vote my shares without attending the Annual Meeting?
Yes. Whether or not you attend the meeting, we encourage you to vote your shares promptly.
For stockholders of record: Your shares cannot be voted unless a signed proxy card is returned, shares are voted using the Internet or the telephone, or other specific arrangements are made to have your shares represented at the meeting. You are encouraged to specify your choices by marking the appropriate boxes on the enclosed proxy card. Shares will be voted following your written instructions. However, it is not necessary to mark any boxes if you wish to vote in accordance with the Board of Directors’ recommendations; in that case, merely sign, date and return the proxy card in the enclosed envelope.
Instead of returning a signed proxy card, you can also vote your shares over the Internet, or by calling a designated telephone number. These Internet and telephone voting procedures are designed to authenticate your identity in order to allow you to provide your voting instructions, and to confirm that your instructions have been recorded properly. The procedures which have been put in place are consistent with the requirements of applicable law. Specific instructions for stockholders of record who wish to use the Internet or telephone voting procedures are set forth on the enclosed proxy card.
For participants in the IBM Stock Fund Investment alternative under the IBM 401(k) Plus Plan: In order to have the Trustee vote your shares as you direct, you must timely furnish your voting instructions over the Internet or by telephone by April 24, 2008, or otherwise ensure that your card is signed, returned and received by April 24, 2008. If instructions are not received over the Internet or by telephone by April 24, 2008, or if the signed card is not returned and received by such date, the IBM shares in the IBM Stock Fund under the IBM 401(k) Plus Plan will be voted by the Trustee in proportion to the shares for which the Trustee timely receives voting instructions, provided the Trustee determines such vote is consistent with its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.
For holders in street name: You must timely deliver your voting instructions to your respective bank, broker or other intermediary, following the specific instructions that have been provided to you by your bank, broker or other intermediary.
9. May I change or revoke my proxy?
For stockholders of record: Yes. A proxy may be revoked at any time prior to the voting at the meeting by submitting a later dated proxy (including a proxy via the Internet or by telephone) or by giving timely written notice of revocation to the Secretary of the Company.
For holders in street name: Yes. You must follow the specific voting directions provided to you by your bank, broker or other intermediary to change or revoke any instructions you have already provided to your bank, broker or other intermediary.
10. How can I contact IBM’s transfer agent?
You may write or call Computershare Trust Company, N.A., P.O. Box 43072, Providence, RI 02940 Telephone: 781-575-2727.
11. Other than the items in the Proxy Statement, what other items of business will be addressed at the Annual Meeting?
Management knows of no other matters that may be brought before the meeting. If other proper matters are introduced at the meeting, the individuals named as proxies on the enclosed proxy card are also authorized to vote upon those matters utilizing their own discretion.
12. I understand that a “quorum” of stockholders is required in order for the Company to transact business at the Annual Meeting. What constitutes a quorum?
A majority of all “outstanding” shares of stock having voting power, in person or represented by proxy and entitled to vote, constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business at the meeting.
13. How many shares of IBM stock are “outstanding”?
As of February 8, 2008, there were 1,384,330,881 common shares outstanding and entitled to be voted.
14. Assuming there is a proper quorum of shares represented at the meeting, how many shares are required to approve the proposals being voted upon in this Proxy Statement?
Here are the required approvals:
|Proposal||Vote required||Is broker discretionary voting allowed?|
* At its Annual Meeting in 2009, the Company intends to seek stockholder approval to amend its certificate of incorporation to provide for majority voting for directors in uncontested elections.
|Election of Directors||Plurality of votes cast*||Yes|
|Ratification of appointment of Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP||Majority of votes cast||Yes|
|Stockholder Proposals**||Majority of votes cast||No|
15. What is “Broker Discretionary Voting”?
This refers to the New York Stock Exchange rule allowing brokers to vote their customers’ shares on certain “routine” matters in the Proxy Statement at the brokers’ discretion when they have not received timely voting instructions from their customers.
16. Are abstentions, broker non-votes and withheld votes counted as votes cast?
No. Under the laws of New York, IBM’s state of incorporation, “votes cast” at a meeting of stockholders by the holders of shares entitled to vote are determinative of the outcome of the matter subject to vote. Abstentions, broker non-votes, and withheld votes will not be considered “votes cast” based on current state law requirements and IBM’s certificate of incorporation and by-laws.
17. Who tabulates the votes?
Votes are counted by employees of Computershare Trust Company, N.A., IBM’s transfer agent and registrar, and certified by the Inspectors of Election (who are employees of IVS Associates, Inc).
18. Where can I find the voting results of the Annual Meeting?
The Company intends to announce the preliminary voting results at the Annual Meeting and publish the final results on our website as well as in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ending June 30, 2008.
19. Will my votes be confidential?
Yes. All stockholder meeting proxies, ballots, and tabulations that identify individual stockholders are kept confidential and are not available for examination. In addition, the identity or the vote of any stockholder is not disclosed except as required by law.
20. How do I submit a proposal for inclusion in IBM’s 2009 proxy material?
Stockholder proposals may be submitted for IBM’s 2009 proxy material after the 2008 Annual Meeting but must be received no later than 5 p.m. EST on November 10, 2008. Proposals should be sent via registered, certified or express mail to: Office of the Secretary, International Business Machines Corporation, New Orchard Road, Mail Drop 301, Armonk, N.Y. 10504.
Management carefully considers all proposals and suggestions from stockholders. When adoption is clearly in the best interest of the Company and stockholders, and can be accomplished without stockholder approval, the proposal is implemented without inclusion in the Proxy Statement. Examples of stockholder proposals and suggestions that have been adopted over the years include stockholder ratification of the appointment of an independent registered public accounting firm, improved procedures involving dividend checks and stockholder publications, and changes or additions to the proxy materials concerning matters like abstentions from voting, appointment of alternative proxy, inclusion of a table of contents, proponent disclosure and secrecy of stockholder voting.
21. How do I submit an item of business for the 2009 Annual Meeting?
Stockholders who intend to present an item of business at the 2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (other than a proposal submitted for inclusion in the Company’s Proxy Statement) must provide notice of such business to the Company’s Secretary no earlier than October 11, 2008 and no later than November 10, 2008, as set forth more fully in the Company’s by-laws.
22. I did not receive a copy of the Annual Report. How can I get one?
Stockholders of record who did not receive an IBM Annual Report or who previously elected not to receive one for a specific account may request that IBM mail its Annual Report to that account by writing to our transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. (address and phone number above). If you are not a stockholder of record and did not receive an Annual Report from your bank, broker or other intermediary, you must contact your bank, broker or other intermediary directly.
23. What is “Householding” and does IBM do this?
Householding is a procedure approved by the SEC under which stockholders who have the same address and last name and do not participate in electronic delivery of proxy materials will receive only one copy of our Proxy Statement and Annual Report from a company, single bank, broker or other intermediary, unless one or more of these stockholders notifies the company, bank, broker or other intermediary that they wish to continue to receive individual copies. At the present time, IBM does not “household” for any of our stockholders of record. However, as explained below, your bank broker or other intermediary may be householding your account if you hold your shares in street name.
24. If I’m a holder in street name, how may I obtain a separate set of proxy materials?
If you hold shares in street name, your bank, broker or other intermediary may be delivering only one copy of our Proxy Statement and the IBM Annual Report to multiple stockholders of the same household who share the same address, and may continue to do so, unless your bank, broker or other intermediary has received contrary instructions from one or more of the affected stockholders in the household. If you are such a beneficial holder, contact your bank, broker or other intermediary directly in order to receive a separate set of our proxy materials.
25. Members of our household own IBM shares through a number of different brokerage firms. Will we continue to receive multiple sets of materials?
Yes. If you and others sharing a single address hold IBM shares through multiple brokers, you will continue to receive at least one set of proxy materials from each broker.
26. Did IBM utilize the SEC’s new e-proxy rules for delivery of the proxy materials this year?
No. IBM delivered its proxy materials in the same manner as it has in the past. However, many stockholders have previously consented to receive electronic delivery of proxy materials.
27. I received my proxy materials in hard copy. How may I arrange to receive them electronically?
To enroll for electronic delivery, go to our Investor Relations website at www.ibm.com/investor and select “Stockholder services”, select “Consent for materials on-line” and then follow the instructions for either “Stockholders of record” or “Beneficial stockholders”.
28. I previously consented to receive electronic delivery of my proxy materials. Can you send me a hard copy of these proxy materials?
For stockholders of record: We will deliver promptly, upon written or oral request, a separate copy of these proxy materials. Contact our transfer agent either by writing Computershare Trust Company, N.A., P.O. Box 43072, Providence, RI 02940, or by telephoning 781-575-2727.
For holders in street name: You must contact your bank, broker or other intermediary to receive copies of these materials.
29. Who is making this proxy solicitation and approximately how much will these solicitation activities cost?
Solicitation of proxies is being made by the Company through the mail, in person and by telecommunications. The cost of this solicitation will be borne by the Company. In addition, management has retained Morrow & Co., Inc., to assist in soliciting proxies for a fee of approximately $40,000, plus reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.
Daniel E. O’Donnell
Vice President and Secretary
March 10, 2008