In 1959, he became assistant to then-chief executive Thomas J. Watson Jr. Just five years later, he oversaw the introduction of IBM's System 360 mainframe computer. He was appointed vice president in 1966, president in 1974 and, on January 1st, 1981, took over as IBM's fifth CEO, replacing Frank T. Cary. During his four-year tenure, Opel led IBM's push into the burgeoning PC market, overseeing the launch of IBM's first PC, the 5150, just seven months after taking the reins. He was also at the helm in 1982, when the Department of Justice dropped its 13-year antitrust suit against IBM, allowing the firm to expand its operations. Opel took full advantage. Under his stewardship, IBM's revenue nearly doubled and its corporate stature grew accordingly. In 1983, Opel made the cover of Time magazine, under a headline that read, "The Colossus That Works." He stepped down as CEO in 1985, served as chairman until 1986 and would remain on IBM's board until 1993. On Thursday, he passed away in Ft. Myers, FL, due to undisclosed causes. John Roberts Opel is survived by his wife of 56 years, five children, 15 grandchildren and a legacy that extends far beyond these 400 words.