IBM Names First Female CEO


The IBM board of directors today elected Virginia “Ginni” Rometty president and CEO of the company, effective January 1, 2012. She succeeds IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer Samuel J. Palmisano, who retires as IBM’s traditional age of 60 and will remain chairman of the board.

“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 in a statement. “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.”[more]

Rometty is currently IBM senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, where she is accountable for revenue, profit, and client satisfaction in the 170 global markets in which IBM does business. She is responsible for IBM’s worldwide results, which exceeded $99 billion in 2010, and for leading IBM’s global strategy, marketing and communications functions.

She previously was senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, in which role she led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. Rometty has also served as general manager of IBM Global Services, Americas, and of IBM’s Global Insurance and Financial Services Sector since joining the company in 1981 as a systems engineer.