IBM Chooses Virginia Rometty as CEO

by CXO staff    Oct 27, 2011

Hewlett-Packard (HP) named former eBay Chief Meg Whitman as its new President and Chief Executive Officer in September, 2011. Now, the IBM board of directors has elected Virginia “Ginni” M. Rometty President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, effective January 1, 2012. The decision will probably accentuate the HP - IBM rivalry.
GinniMeg Whitman

Quite simply, if a company is serious about succeeding in emerging markets, it cannot afford to ignore the millions of educated women entering the workplace, says a new book by Rashid in a report from The Economic Times. She has co-authored her book Why Women are the Solution, published by Harvard Business Review Press, with Center for Work-Life Policy Founding President, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: “It is important to know how to attract, and then keep the women in the workplace long enough for them to be in senior leadership positions,” says Rashid over the phone from her home in New York.

A senior sales and marketing vice president at IBM, Rometty will take over from Sam Palmisano.

Sam Palmisano, IBM’s current chairman, said in a statement that Rometty has led some of IBM’s most important businesses and was instrumental in the formation of IBM’s business services division.

“Ginni 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 she is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century,” Palmisano said.

As global sales leader for IBM, Rometty is accountable for revenue, profit, and client satisfaction in the 170 global markets in which IBM has businesses.

A computer science degree holder from Northwestern University, Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. She rose to executive positions over the years and oversaw the integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers after IBM took over the consulting company in 2002 for $3.5 billion.

“There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment,” said Rometty.

Rometty has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune Magazine. She is responsible for IBM’s worldwide results, which exceeded $99 billion in 2010. She is responsible for leading IBM’s global strategy, marketing and communications functions. She also served as general manager of IBM Global Services, Americas, and of IBM’s Global Insurance and Financial Services Sector.

Palmisano, IBM’s will carry on as IBM’s chairman of the board. He became IBM CEO in 2002 and chairman of the board in 2003.During his tenure, IBM exited businesses like PCs and hard disk drives. He also launched IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy in 2008, an effort to connect technology and leverage data to make industries and infrastructure more efficient.