By Suresh Kumar
Over the years, IBM moved from emphasizing mainframes to being in and out of PCs and eventually concentrating on services. Wall Street felt General Electric could do no wrong under Jack Welch and ostensibly little right under Jeff Immelt. The industrial powerhouse forayed beyond its core deep into financial services and media. Today it struggles to reinvent itself. “You cannot shrink your way to greatness” was the Sears mantra as it expanded focus to women as well as men, but “this yesteryear’s Amazon” saw its retail universe shrink further with more store closings last month. These companies were American icons, but today they are shadows of their powerful past.