Virginia Rometty Is The First Female CEO of IBM

Taken from here.


Virginia M. Rometty, a senior vice president at I.B.M., will be the company’s next chief executive, the directors announced on Tuesday. She will succeed Samuel J. Palmisano, who will remain as chairman, at the start of next year. This is extremely significant for many reasons. First, Rometty is the first woman at IBM to hold this position. Second, she is now the first woman to run as large a company as IBM, which means she will surpass PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. Third, she beat out colleague Steven A. Mills, the senior vice president who led IBM’s highly profitable and growing software division. Mr. Palmisan singled out Mr. Mills for praise, saying “he’s done a phenomenal job.” But apparently gender had nothing to do with it. Viriginia got this job based on pure talent. “Ginni got it because she deserved it,” Mr. Palmisano said in an interview, using the informal first name by which she is known to friends and colleagues. “It’s got zero to do with progressive social policies.”

Rometty earned this job because she helped integrate PricewaterhouseCoopers in a $3.9 billion acquisition that allowed the company to offer strategic advice which enabled IBM to forge closer ties to customers’ CEOs. In her old titleas senior Vice President of Global Sales and Distribution, a title she has held since 2005,she was responsible for revenue, profit and client satisfaction in 170 global markets. She has been focusing on IBM’s growth in emerging markets, such as China, Russia and Brazil. Such markets account for 21% of IBM’s revenues and are expected to account for 30% by 2015. Prior to this role, she was the senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services. She is a 30-year vet of the company.

This is also great as the female tech world just lost a big presence when Carol Bartz was removed from her post as CEO of Yahoo. And with Meg Whitman heading up Hewlett-Packard this is proving to be a big month for women in technology after a rough September.

“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,” Palmisano said. “I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century.”

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