IBM CEO Gini Rometty to step down; cloud boss Arvind Krishna who spearheaded Red Hat deal to take over in April

Rometty, 62, will continue as executive chairman and will retire at the end of the year.

FP Staff January 31, 2020 07:39:04 IST
IBM CEO Gini Rometty to step down; cloud boss Arvind Krishna who spearheaded Red Hat deal to take over in April
  • IBM will likely continue its trajectory under Krishna, but may pursue more small acquisitions in the cloud and analytics space, said Tim Hubbard, assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame and a former IBM consultant

  • IBM also said Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst will become its president

  • Rometty, 62, will continue as executive chairman and will retire at the end of the year

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty will hand over the reins to the head of the company’s cloud business, as the pioneer tech company continues its efforts to rejuvenate itself.

Arvind Krishna, 57, who spearheaded the Red Hat deal, will take over in April, according to a Reuters report.

IBM will likely continue its trajectory under Krishna, but may pursue more small acquisitions in the cloud and analytics space, said Tim Hubbard, assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame and a former IBM consultant.

Shares of the company were up nearly 5 percent in extended trading.

IBM CEO Gini Rometty to step down cloud boss Arvind Krishna who spearheaded Red Hat deal to take over in April

Virginia Rometty. Reuters

IBM also said Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst will become its president.

Rometty, 62, will continue as executive chairman and will retire at the end of the year.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” Rometty said in a statement, Reuters said.

The company was a late entrant to the business of cloud services, a segment now dominated by Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, and Rometty, a 40-year IBM veteran and one of the highest-profile women in US business, bet on acquisitions to cut the lead.

During her eight years at the helm, the Big Blue completed 65 acquisitions, culminating in the $34 billion (26 billion pounds) deal for Red Hat last year - the biggest purchase in its 108-year history—while selling some of its legacy businesses.

She leaves on a recent high note, days after IBM reported its first revenue growth in six quarters, but shares have lost about a quarter in value since she took charge, and the turnaround she began remains a work in progress.

--With inputs from Reuters

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