Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Speculation has been running fairly consistent for awhile now that there would soon be a new CEO at IBM, as Sam Palmisano approached the company’s typical retirement age. Today the company’s board of directors named Virginia Rometty, senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, as the new CEO. She’ll take over at the start of the new year. Palmisano will continue as chairman.

According to IBM’s official bio on her, she goes by the name “Ginni.” In her current job, she’s been responsible for revenue, profit, and client satisfaction globally and has been in charge of strategy, marketing and communications.
Before that she ran Big Blue’s global business services unit and helmed the tricky integration of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which was a key acquisition in 2002, as it became the lynchpin of IBM’s strategically important services business. You may remember that Hewlett-Packard tried and failed to acquire the PwC Consulting business during the Carly Fiorina era. At that time, HP proposed paying $17 billion and change, but negotiations fell through. IBM swooped in and took it out for less than $4 billion in 2002.

Rometty’s naming as CEO makes it an interesting moment in history. With Meg Whitman at the helm of HP, women now run the two biggest IT companies by revenue in the world.

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