Jerrier Haddad began his IBM career in July 1945. He was charged with the complete technical and executive responsibility for the 701 development and design program. The technical responsibility included system design, circuit design and the effect of each of those functions on the machine. His responsibility included the management and supervision of some 200 highly skilled engineers and technical people, and the scheduling and coordination of all of their efforts. He shared overall responsibility for the engineering program with Nathaniel Rochester. From 1977 until he retired in 1981, he was IBM vice president of technical personnel development.
He later recalled of the 701: “We convinced ourselves that by taking a giant step toward this far-out high performance machine, we and our customers would benefit in many ways. … A major challenge was to see whether we could make a single machine that would simultaneously satisfy the needs of nearly 20 customers. We had never made anything that big before — in a manufacturing sense. They had always been created one at a time in the laboratory. Now came a problem: How could you split the work up among a big group of people so that they wouldn’t duplicate and fall over each other — and not leave anything undone?”
He also said: “We didn’t have budgets and schedules in those days. Maybe that is why we did things so fast. We didn’t have schedules to slow us down. … This was a very good project. We knew we had the support of the corporation and we knew we were doing something vital.”
1984 Computer Pioneer Award
“For his part in the lead IBM 701 design team.”
Learn more about the Computer Pioneer Award