IBM announced that its board of directors elected Virginia M. Rometty President and CEO. She will assume the role on January 1, 2012. Rometty will also serve on the board itself.
Rometty is replacing Samuel J. Palmisano, but he will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, a title he already holds in addition to President and CEO.
“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,” says Palmisano.
“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.”
“There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment,” said Rometty. “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. Our ability to execute and deliver consistent results for clients and shareholders is strong. This is due to Sam’s leadership, his discipline, and his unshakable belief in the ability of IBM and IBMers to lead into the future. Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM.”
Some noteworthy tweets about the news:
@vdebolt: IBM names woman as chief executive. http://t.co/He5hvpUpI bet she even has a NAME! Virginia Rometty, in fact. RT
IBM CEO Virginia Rometty will have one problem. So far Huffington Post, SF Gate and The Atlantic Wire have misspelled her name in headlines.
Palmisano has held the CEO position since 2002.