The Uncovered Podcast

The Importance Of Trust And Cultural Fit With Leigh Price Of IBM

November 16, 2020 Leigh Price of IBM Season 2 Episode 8
The Uncovered Podcast
The Importance Of Trust And Cultural Fit With Leigh Price Of IBM
Show Notes

Episode Summary:
On episode 8, Matt and Rob speak with Leigh Price, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy at IBM.  Leigh has over 30 years in the industry and has overseen just north of 400 purchases at IBM.  In this episode you will learn everything from the strategies IBM takes with acquisitions, how the corporate development team is organized and the importance of culture & integrity in this business.  Leigh also shares his advice for entrepreneurs looking to build a relationship with IBM & why deals can often fall apart in this business. 

Heads up: At the beginning of this episode Rob says, the undercovered podcast.  Please ignore this blooper, and continue listening to hear more on this episode of the Uncovered Podcast. :) 

What is Uncovered: 

  • How the corporate development team is organized at IBM 
  • Where the vast majority of deals are sourced from 
  • Leigh’s advice for entrepreneurs looking to work with IBM 
  • How IBM’s culture has changed over the years and the importance of the soft elements during an integration 
  • An example of trust being compromised and why integrity in this business means everything. 
  • The importance of good business hygiene for startups & why more companies should be spending their time in this area 
  • The common reasons deals fall apart from the buyer’s perspective 

Learn more about: 

Leigh Price:
Leigh Price is Vice President, Corporate Development Strategy at IBM where he is responsible for leading the development of IBM’s worldwide inorganic strategy including acquisitions and divestitures.  Previously, Leigh was the Vice President of Intellectual Property for IBM, leading its patent and research licensing businesses, contributing nearly $500M to IBM profit.  Before that he spent nearly 15 years in IBM Corporate Development leading both acquisition and divestiture transactions.  His deal sheet numbers over 50 transactions with an aggregate transaction value nearing $20B.

Before IBM, Leigh was the CFO and COO of Zucotto Wireless, Inc., a semiconductor startup focusing on Java IP, based in San Diego, California.  While at Zucotto, Leigh raised $42M in 4 private equity financings involving both equity and debt.  

Leigh holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business.

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Restlessly reinventing since 1911, we are the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, with more than 350,000 employees serving clients in 170 countries. With Watson, the AI platform for business, powered by data, we are building industry-based solutions to real-world problems. For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. For more information, visit

Quotes from Leigh: 

  • “We take a particular focus on culture and change, it’s actually a discreet stream in our due diligence and is taken seriously.” 
  • “M&A is a relationship business, and trust is an important part of any M&A deal and I’ve been in deals where that trust has been compromised, and I will never forget those.” 
  • “Integrity in my mind is everything in this business” 
  • “If both parties want to get a deal done, they will find a way”

This episode was recorded on October 2, 2020