Jack D. Kuehler was an American electrical engineer who devoted the majority of his career at IBM, where he was the firm's highest ranking technologist, serving as president and later vice chairman of the company.
Kuehler was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1932. He studied mechanical engineering at Santa Clara University and later earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from the school.
Kuehler started at IBM in 1958 as an associate engineer working at the company's San Jose Research Laboratory in 1958. After advancing through various technical and managerial positions, he was appointed as director of the Raleigh Communications Laboratory in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina in 1968, and as named as director of the San Jose and Menlo Park development laboratories in 1970.
He was chosen to serve as senior vice president in May 1982, and was appointed as vice chairman of the board and a member of the executive committee in January 1988 with responsibility for corporate manufacturing and systems and programming staffs.
In May 1989, Kuehler became IBM President when John Fellows Akers relinquished that title; Akers continued to serve as Chairman and CEO of IBM. Kuehler's promotion was unusual since most IBM presidents came from sales instead of engineering, and being two years older than Akers he was unlikely to succeed him as CEO, therefore the title was seen as an acknowledgement of Kuehler's long service to the company as there was no reporting changes.