IBM CEO Ginni Rometty retires

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Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO.
Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO.

Virginia Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, has retired from the company after 40 years.

The company has elected Arvind Krishna as chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors, effective 6 April.

Krishna is currently IBM senior vice-president for cloud and cognitive software, and was a principal architect of the company's acquisition of Red Hat.

James Whitehurst, IBM senior vice-president and CEO of Red Hat, was also elected by the board as IBM president, effective 6 April.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” says Rometty. “He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.

“He is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow. Arvind has grown IBM's cloud and cognitive software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history.

“Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results, and is an authentic, values-driven leader. He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era,” she says.

Rometty, 62, became chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM in 2012.

IBM says during her tenure, she made bold changes to re-position IBM for the future, investing in high value segments of the IT market and optimising the company's portfolio.

Under Rometty's leadership, IBM acquired 65 companies, built key capabilities in hybrid cloud, security, industry and data, and AI, both organically and inorganically, and successfully completed one of the largest technology acquisitions in history, the company notes.

It adds she reinvented more than 50% of IBM's portfolio, built a $21 billion hybrid cloud business and established IBM's leadership in AI, quantum computing and blockchain, while divesting nearly $9 billion in annual revenue to focus the portfolio on IBM's high value, integrated offerings.

“Ginni has provided outstanding leadership for IBM, substantially transforming the company and ushering in a new cloud and cognitive era,” says Michael Eskew, lead director of the IBM board of directors.

“She has taken bold strategic actions to re-position IBM for the future, shedding businesses and growing new units organically and through acquisition, all while achieving record diversity and employee engagement and setting the industry standard for responsible technology ethics and data stewardship.”

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