Sustaining Success Through Growth
By the end of 1962, he had hired a small staff, including engineers and a sales team. In 1963, EDS secured a multi-year data-processing agreement with snack food manufacturer Frito-Lay. The company was off and running. By 1968, EDS had 323 full-time workers and made $1.5 million in profits.
The growth in data processing and services continued throughout the 1970s, and EDS began to win state Medicare contracts to administer programs. As the business grew, EDS outperformed competitors and earned positive customer feedback.
"If I had to write a handbook for the American entrepreneur and put everything in one sentence I’d say, ‘Persevere, no matter the pain, persevere,’" Mr. Perot said.
In 1974, EDS signed its first credit union client, a toehold that would grow into a large presence in the banking sector. In the mid-1970s, EDS went international, with clients in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Iran and Pakistan. In 1980, it had more than 10,000 employees.
In the early 1980s, General Motors was looking to improve operations. A more efficient computer system was high on the list, so the auto manufacturer approached EDS. Mr. Perot, intrigued by the possibility of expansion, agreed to a $2.5 billion sale, with EDS becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of GM.