IBM Appoints Virginia Rometty as Company’s First Female CEO

IBM’s new CEO Virginia Rometty faces tough tasks as she becomes company’s first CEO

International Business MachinesIBM always had a male-CEO in its 100 years of existence, but things have change as it announced its first female CEO. Virginia Rometty, currently a Senior Vice President for sales and marketing will be managing the company from January 1, 2012. The biggest challenge faced by the CEO-designate is the transition of IBM’s $ 100 billion business into the cloud computing era.

IBM has provided traditional outsourcing services for long, but now it is planning to move towards an “operating expense-based cloud computing services model”. The costs of such services are much lover the than the traditional outsourcing. David Tapper, Vice President of outsourcing and offshore services for IDC, believes that Rometty has a herculean task to perform as IBM is now moving from mainframe computing era to the PC era. “Systems integration technology consulting is becoming more embedded in delivery of operations through a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model so customers may not need as much system integration services anymore and IBM has a very big systems integration technology consulting service,” Tapper said.

Virginia Rometty who has served IBM for more than 30 years will succeed Sam Palmison (Chairman of IBM). Rometty will have five to seven years time to make meaningful changes to complete IBM’s transition into the cloud computing services era.“She has got ramp up time, but at the end of the day, she has to tackle these issues head on. My belief is IBM has to build a distinct business unit like a cloud unit that pulls it altogether and moves the old business model to the new business model,” Tapper added.

Tiffani Bova, a vice president at Gartner, believes that Rometty’s current job as the senior vice president of sales, marketing and strategy will help a lot in moving IBM in to the cloud computing era. “It will be great to have a CEO who is market-driven and sales and marketing driven rather than technology driven. Coming out of sales and marketing is really helpful when you look at businesses that have been successful over time,” Bova said. Rometty is the 17th CEO from the Fortune 500. Bova said that she has now joined the elite group of woman at HP and Xerox. “Women and channel now have one more example with hard work and lots of time, energy and efforts directed the right way you can achieve great goals.” Bova added.

CEOs at the Silicon Valley has welcome the praised the appointment of Rometty as the future CEO of IBM. President of Denali Advanced Integration, Christ Gerhardt, admired IBM’s decision and said, “It’s a good decision”.

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