The Bluest Blue Chip Account Uproar

The Bluest Blue Chip Account Uproar

Steve’s breakdown: IBM’s Ginni Rometty Steps Down As CEO Causing Major Executive Reshuffle is the headline and there will be a line at the account.

ARMONK, NY: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty announced that she will resign from her role, and be replaced by the company’s current Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software.

The IBM (NYSE: IBM) Board of Directors has elected Arvind Krishna as Chief Executive Officer of the company and a member of the Board of Directors, effective April 6, 2020.

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 April 6, 2020.

Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board and serve through the end of the year, when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” said Rometty. “He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, 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.”

Rometty became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM in 2012.  During her tenure she made bold changes to reposition IBM for the future, investing in high-value segments of the IT market and optimizing the company’s portfolio.

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

“Jim is also a seasoned leader who has positioned Red Hat as the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT software solutions and services, and has been quickly expanding the reach and benefit of that technology to an even wider audience as part of IBM,” Rometty continued.

“In Arvind and Jim, the Board has elected a proven technical and business-savvy leadership team.”

She reinvented more than 50% of IBM’s portfolio, built a $21bn hybrid cloud business and established IBM’s leadership in AI, quantum computing and blockchain, while divesting nearly $9bn 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,” said Michael Eskew, Lead Director of the IBM Board of Directors.

“She has taken bold strategic actions to reposition 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.”

Currently, Krishna leads the IBM business unit that provides the cloud and data platform on which IBM’s clients build the future, and joined IBM in 1990.

His current responsibilities also include the IBM Cloud, IBM Security and Cognitive Applications business, and IBM Research.

Previously, he was general manager of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group’s development and manufacturing organisation. Prior to that he built and led many of IBM’s data-related businesses.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be elected as the next Chief Executive Officer of IBM, and appreciate the confidence that Ginni and the Board have placed in me,” said Krishna.

“IBM has such talented people and technology that we can bring together to help our clients solve their toughest problems.

“I am looking forward to working with IBMers, Red Hatters and clients around the world at this unique time of fast-paced change in the IT industry.

“We have great opportunities ahead to help our clients advance the transformation of their business while also remaining the global leader in the trusted stewardship of technology.  Jim will be a great partner in the next step of this journey.”

Whitehurst is IBM Senior Vice President and CEO of Red Hat, which was acquired by IBM in 2019.

During his tenure at Red Hat, revenue grew over eight times and market capitalisation by more than 10 times.

He joined Red Hat from Delta Airlines, where he drove significant international expansion and as Chief Operating Officer oversaw all aspects of airline operations.  Prior to that he was a partner at The Boston Consulting Group.

“I am truly honoured to be elected as IBM’s President,” said Whitehurst.  “I look forward to working with Arvind, and with IBMers and Red Hatters alike, to continue to bring together the best of our companies and cultures.

“I’ve had the opportunity to interact with IBMers across the company over the past few months, and I have been so impressed with the talented and dedicated team we have.

“When I first joined, I said that I believe we have the opportunity to be the defining technology company of the twenty-first century.

“After working with our clients, IBMers and Red Hatters over the past months, I am even more convinced of that opportunity today.”


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