schmidt.jpgIBM Chief Executive Sam Palmisano gloated to an audience of companies that sell its wares that Big Blue would make it through the current economic downturn with flying colors, since it is old and experienced. Riffing on the idea of age, he compared his tech behemoth to Internet star Google Inc, whose CEO Eric Schmidt was about to join him on stage in LA.

“It’s interesting when people think about companies like IBM and Google. I mean, we couldn’t be farther apart. We’re old, they’re young, we’re kind of boring, they’re innovative, we’re slow, they’re fast, we’re fat, they’re skinny,” Palmisano joked.

“How could you guys possibly work together?” the IBM chief asked himself. “I don’t know!” (The conclusion was that they worked well together, after all.)

Oddly enough, Palmisano may have edged out Schmidt on the cool factor though — the Google chief showed up in jacket and tie, while Palmisano strode around the stage with an open collar.

 (Reuters picture of Schmidt is from a different event, same look)