Virginia Rometty

October 27, 2011 by staff 

Virginia Rometty, International Business Machines (IBM), Virginia Ginni Rometty has grown throughout her career to take on the challenges never faced before. Now that is going to face something that nobody has ever done. Rometty, 54, will become the first female CEO in the 100-year history of IBM. The company’s Armonk, New York, said he will succeed Sam Palmisano in the role on 1 January.

Palmisano, who has been CEO since 2002, will remain chairman. In an interview, said Rometty has grown more in her career through “experience” of learning. “I learned to always have the things I had never done before,” he said. She takes the reins as steady profit growth pushes IBM shares this year to the highest level since the company went public in 1915.

His experience in sales, service and acquisitions is consistent with the strategic direction set by Palmisano, who said last year the company will add 20 billion and revenues between 2010 and 2015 by expanding into markets such as cloud computing andanlytics.

Rometty made it clear that follow the roadmap of the company has established since she helped build. “I was head of strategy at IBM and together with my colleagues built our five-year plan,” he said. “My priorities will be to continue the execution on that.” The 30-year veteran caught the attention of IBM Palmisano in 2002 when he helped integrate the 3.9 billion acquisition of PwC Consulting, IBM’s largest operation, each time at the moment.

Rometty, then CEO of the consulting unit, said he knew from the beginning, the acquisition will be difficult. “It was the first and only time has been a professional services firm that size built another big company,” he said.

Rometty is credited with helping keep major PwC consultants who do not always mesh with IBM’s cost-cutting culture. When Palmisano wanted to cut travel budgets, so that the consultants stay at Holiday Inns, they helped fight – and win, said Ric Andersen, a former consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, who joined IBM in the business.

Palmisano’s promoted to senior vice president of the group in 2005, and increased profits in the unit by 42% in their first two years on the job. During her three decades at IBM, which became known as a brilliant executive who can close a sale, the expansion of relations with companies of State Farm Insurance at Prudential Financial.

“She’s a woman to participate – with large customers,” said Fred Amoroso, who was her boss in the consulting division of financial services during the decade of 1990. “Customers love Ginni”. Amid the recession, Palmisano put in charge of company management and is almost $ 100 million in sales. Last year, he added marketing strategy and its responsibilities. “She is more than an excellent operating executive,” Palmisano said in a statement.

“With each leadership role, has strengthened our ability to integrate IBM’s capabilities for our customers.” The succession of IBM has been the result of careful, long-term planning by the board of directors of the company, said Rosabeth Kanter, Harvard Business School professor who knows Rometty IBM executives and others.

Rometty not only held many key positions during her IBM career, she has also received mentoring and exposure to major world leaders for the future of IBM, said. “Unlike other companies that have new CEO suddenly called recently, such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM handled this very gently for several years,” said Kanter, in an interview.

Palmisano turned 60 in July, the age at which three of the last four heads of IBM have stepped down. The longest serving CEO of IBM who does not share the name of the company’s founder, Thomas J. Watson. It will leave a very different business that took over.

In her first year in charge, bought PwC Consulting, and two years later, sold the PC business. These measures, together with more and 25 million dollars in software acquisitions helped realign Palmisano what was the largest computer company into a powerhouse of services and software. Maneuvers made the company expected to pay by increasing profits by more than 30 consecutive quarters. Since 2001, Palmisano boosted sales by 20%, while keeping the costs of 4,26,000-employee giant with few changes.

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