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IBM announces new CEO

Virginia Rometty to replace Sam Palmisano as head of IBM

IBM announces new CEO
Rometty (r) will take over from Palmisano as CEO from January 2012.

IBM has announced that Virginia Rometty will take on the role of CEO and president from Sam Palmisano from the start of next year.

Rometty, currently senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, will replace Palmisano, as part of the company’s transition strategy.

Palmisano, who became CEO in 2002 and oversaw IBM’s move out of commodity business to focus on high end technology and services, will remain as chairman of the board.

Rometty was previously senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, where she was responsible for the integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting since its acquisition by IBM in 2002.

“Ginni Rometty has successfully led several of IBM's most important businesses over the past decade from the formation of IBM Global Business Services to the build-out of our Growth Markets Unit,” Palmisano said. “But she is more than a superb operational executive. With every leadership role, she has strengthened our ability to integrate IBM's capabilities for our clients. She has spurred us to keep pace with the needs and aspirations of our clients by deepening our expertise and industry knowledge. Ginni's long-term strategic thinking and client focus are seen in our growth initiatives, from cloud computing and analytics to the commercialization of Watson. She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company's future. I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century.”

Rometty said: "There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment. Sam had the courage to transform the company based on his belief that computing technology, our industry, even world economies would shift in historic ways. All of that has come to pass. Today, IBM's strategies and business model are correct. Our ability to execute and deliver consistent results for clients and shareholders is strong. This is due to Sam's leadership, his discipline, and his unshakable belief in the ability of IBM and IBMers to lead into the future. Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM.”

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