Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Stefan Bernbo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

IBM Names Ginni Rometty as CEO

Palmisano Unexpectedly Passes Torch to First Woman to Run Big Blue

After the market closed Tuesday, IBM's president and CEO Sam Palmisano, 60, unexpectedly passed the touch to his successor Virginia Rometty, 54, who will become the first woman ever to run IBM. She starts January 1.

Palmisano, CEO since 2002, will remain chairman.

IBM CEOs have traditionally hung up their spurs at 60. It was thought Palmisano would stay on. Rometty, who was tipped for the job and has been at IBM for 30 years, will also be on the IBM board come the New Year. She currently heads sales, marketing and strategy.

IBM, now a $99 billion concern and the second most valuable high-tech company by market cap, said she "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. 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 is credited with championing and then integrating IBM's 3.5 billion PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting acquisition and pushing into the cloud and analytics. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina was reportedly willing to pay $19 billion for PWC but couldn't get it done.

Palmisano has left it to Romettty to deliver on his promise to realize $20 a share by 2015. During his tenure, IBM exited commodity businesses, including PCs, printers and hard disk drives, and pushed into emerging markets in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other developing countries, which Rometty spearheaded and which now account for 23% of IBM's revenues.

Rometty's obvious rival for the job was Steve Mills, now responsible for both hardware and software. He reportedly didn't want to be CEO.

Her elevation will put her in a tiny league consisting of Meg Whitman, now running HP, and Ursula Burns, who runs Xerox. Other women running Fortune 500 companies include Indra Nooyi of Pepsico and Ellen Kullman of DuPont.

"Progressive social policies" had nothing to do with Rometty's appointment according to Palmisano. In a prepared statement she said, "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....Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...