IBM CEO Virginia Rometty To Step Down

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty To Step Down

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty To Step Down

Virginia Rometty will step down as IBM’s CEO, the company announced Thursday, and Arvind Krishna, IBM’s senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software, will replace her. 

  • Rometty will stay on as executive chairman until the end of the year and then retire after nearly 40 years with the company.
  • Krishna spearheaded the IBM’s landmark deal last year to acquire Red Hat, an open source software company at the center of IBM’s plans for future cloud growth.
  • James Whitehurst, the CEO of Red Hat, will become IBM’s president.
  • The changes are effective April 6.
  • IBM shares jumped nearly 4% in after-hours trading following the announcement. 

Crucial quote: “Arvind has grown IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company’s history,” Rometty said in a statement. “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.”

Key background: IBM has struggled to compete with cloud computing giants such as Amazon and Google as large enterprises move away from using in-house equipment for their computing needs. Under Krishna, IBM hopes to grow its “hybrid cloud” business, which uses a combination of public cloud services and private ones designed solely for specific companies.

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