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IBM Names Virginia Rometty CEO and President

By - Source: BusinessWire | B 10 comments

Out with the old, in with the new.

Hot on the heels of HP's decision to hire a newly-appointed CEO comes an announcement from IBM that it too is welcoming a new CEO. The company this week announced that senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, Virgina Rometty, is to be the company's new chief executive officer and president. Rometty will step into the shoes of current IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, Samuel Palmisano.

Palmisano has been CEO since 2002 and during his time at the helm, IBM's EPS has increased by almost five times, the company has generated over $100 billion in free cash flow, and invested more than $50 billion in research and development. Speaking in a statement released late yesterday afternoon, Palmisano hailed Rometty as a 'superb operational executive.'

"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," he 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."

The handing over of the reigns will be a slow process, with Rometty expected to take over on January 1, 2012. However, when that does happen, Palmisano will remain chairman of the board at IBM.

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  • 10 Hide
    cookoy , October 26, 2011 5:22 PM
    With billions spent in R&D and a huge hoard of patents, i rarely see any news about ibm suing anybody or extorting licensing fees. Promoting someone from within the ranks to top honcho will probably boost loyalty and morale too.
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , October 26, 2011 5:01 PM
    ... congrats....
  • 10 Hide
    cookoy , October 26, 2011 5:22 PM
    With billions spent in R&D and a huge hoard of patents, i rarely see any news about ibm suing anybody or extorting licensing fees. Promoting someone from within the ranks to top honcho will probably boost loyalty and morale too.
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , October 26, 2011 5:23 PM
    I read the title as:

    "IBM Names Virginia Remotely CEO and President"

    I was like what????
  • 4 Hide
    jackbling , October 26, 2011 6:10 PM
    I have to agree with cookoy, usually when a CEO is hired, he just left his last sinking ship; glad to see them promote from within.
  • 7 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 26, 2011 7:50 PM
    cookoyWith billions spent in R&D and a huge hoard of patents, i rarely see any news about ibm suing anybody or extorting licensing fees. Promoting someone from within the ranks to top honcho will probably boost loyalty and morale too.

    Plenty of companies have lots of patents, but in the case of IBM they actually invented them rather than buying them up. No one would dare challenge IBM in court over who invented what because it would be the biggest one sided fight since Mike Tyson vs Pee Wee Herman.

    Apple may be currently viewed as the most valuable tech company in the world, but a lot of that is based on share price as its products get a lot of public exposure.

    IBM has been around 100 years and will still be around 100 years after Apple has disappeared, because they are the best in the world at playing the long-game.
  • 1 Hide
    JMcEntegart , October 26, 2011 9:31 PM
    back_by_demand... because they are the best in the world at playing the long-game.


    Amen!
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2011 10:05 PM
    will this end up like yahoo... where they eventually gave HER the boot
  • 0 Hide
    restatement3dofted , October 26, 2011 10:57 PM
    yahme202will this end up like yahoo... where they eventually gave HER the boot


    I'm curious to know what, other than the fact that she's a woman, suggests to you the possibility that she'll end up like Carol Bartz? Everything in the article suggests that Ronmetty is exceptionally qualified (not to mention an existing senior VP/executive at IBM who was promoted from within, unlike Bartz).
  • -1 Hide
    falchard , October 27, 2011 6:01 AM
    CEO of IBM is more a figurehead then anything else. They don't exactly steer the boat. A corporation like IBM is just too big for 1 person to make glaring visions for future growth. Pretty much they just go up and say. OK team lets continue creating anything related to circuit boards. An dog can be CEO of IBM and it won't change anything with the company.
  • 0 Hide
    pepe2907 , October 29, 2011 8:41 PM
    "With billions spent in R&D and a huge hoard of patents, i rarely see any news about ibm suing anybody or extorting licensing fees. Promoting someone from within the ranks to top honcho will probably boost loyalty and morale too."

    IBM doesn't need to sue anybody on anything. They already have the new one :) 
    What's the point to sue over something old?