IBM CEO Ginni Rometty to step down; cloud boss to succeed

FILE PHOTO: Chairman, President and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty will hand over the reins to the head of the company’s cloud business, as it looks to build on her attempts to steer the Big Blue to the fast-growing segment.

Arvind Krishna, 57, who will take charge in April, spearheaded the $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat last year, the biggest purchase in the company’s 108-year history, as part of the cloud push to diversify away from its hardware and consulting businesses.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” Rometty, 62, said in a statement.

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

Rometty, one of the most high-profile female CEOs in the United States, will continue as executive chairman and will retire at the end of the year, the company said.

Shares of the company were up nearly 4% in extended trading. They have lost about a quarter of their value since Rometty took over as CEO in January 2012.

Last week, IBM reported a surprise rise in quarterly revenue, its first in six quarters, benefiting from the high-margin cloud computing business.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Uday Sampath Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila


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