Indian-origin Arvind Krishna to take over as CEO of IBM in April; here's all you need to know about the man who succeeds Virginia Rometty

Currently, Senior Vice President at IBM, Krishna's responsibilities include the IBM Cloud, IBM Security and Cognitive Applications business, and IBM Research

FP Staff January 31, 2020 09:18:43 IST
Indian-origin Arvind Krishna to take over as CEO of IBM in April; here's all you need to know about the man who succeeds Virginia Rometty
  • Currently, Senior Vice President at IBM, Krishna's responsibilities include the IBM Cloud, IBM Security and Cognitive Applications business, and IBM Research

  • Before taking over his current role heading IBM's cloud and cognitive software business, he had served as senior vice president of hybrid cloud at IBM for two years.

  • Krishna joined IBM in 1990.

Arvind Krishna, who will take over as chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp (IBM) in April, becomes the third Indian to head US-based multinational company after Microsoft corp's chief executive officer Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

"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," Krishna said in a press statement released by IBM. "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," Krishna said.

Currently, Senior Vice President at IBM, Krishna's responsibilities 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.

Krishna joined IBM in 1990.

The IBM Board of Directors elected Krishna as company CEO and member of the Board of Directors effective 6 April. Krishna will succeed Rometty, 62 who will retire after almost 40 years with the company at the end of the year, according to a PTI report.

"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," Virginia Rometty, CEO, said in the release.

Indianorigin Arvind Krishna to take over as CEO of IBM in April heres all you need to know about the man who succeeds Virginia Rometty

Arvind Krishna, third Indian to head US-based MNC. Pic courtesy: LinkedIn

Rometty said Krishna 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."

She said Krishna has grown IBM's Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history. Krishna was a "principal architect" of the company's acquisition of Red Hat.

"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."

According to his LinkedIn account, Krishna has worked as senior vice president for cloud and cognitive software at IBM role since January 2019.

"Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM. 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," CEO Rometty said in a statement, adding  Krishna "is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow," Rometty said.

Lead Director of the IBM Board of Directors Michael Eskew said with the strong foundation now established by Rometty for IBM's future, the Board is confident that Krishna is the "right CEO to lead IBM".

"The Board ran a world-class succession process and found in Arvind a leader with the business acumen, operational skills, and technology vision needed to guide IBM in this fast-moving industry," Eskew said.

Chairman of the Board's Executive Compensation and Management Resources Committee Alex Gorsky said Krishna thinks and executes squarely at the intersection of business and technology. Gorsky said he is an "ideal leader" to succeed Rometty and take IBM and its clients into the next chapter of the cloud and cognitive era.

The IBM statement said that as IBM Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software, Krishna led the IBM business unit that provides the cloud and data platform on which IBM's clients build the future.

Before taking over his current role heading IBM's cloud and cognitive software business, he had served as senior vice president of hybrid cloud at IBM for two years.

Krishna has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from IITK and the University of Illinois. He is also the co-author of 15 patents.

Krishna has been the editor of IEEE and ACM journals and has published extensively in technical conferences and journals.

Krishna studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois.

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