New York: Virginia, "Ginni", Rometty, is to be the first woman to lead IBM in the hundred year history of the most "macho" of corporations.
Rometty led IBM's acquisition of PwC Consulting in 2002, the biggest such deal in professional services history, and she is credited with the development of its Global Business Services division, which now drives the whole company. She will succeed Sam Palmisano on January 1 2012. Palmisano will remain chairman of the board.
"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," Mr. Palmisano 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."
Rometty said: "There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment. 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."
Currently Rometty is global sales leader for IBM, accountable for revenue, profit, and client satisfaction in the 170 global markets in which IBM does business.
Ms. Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University. As well as being the first woman, she will also be the first IBM CEO not to have run its hardware manufacturing business.