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IBM Names First Female CEO

October 27, 2011

Tuesday, October 26th marked the first time in IBM’s 100-year history that a woman has been promoted to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position. IBM, which is based in Armonk, N.Y., has named Virginia “Ginni” Rometty as CEO to take effect on January 1, 2012.  The IBM board announced Rometty’s appointment to replace current CEO Samuel Palmisano, 60, who will become chairman in 2012. Her recent promotion marks the installation for two of the biggest technology companies to currently have female leaders.  In September 2011, Hewlett-Packard named former eBay chief, Meg Whitman its CEO.  Rometty, 54, will be among more than a dozen female CEOs in the Fortune 500.

Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. In her current role as an IBM senior vice president, Rometty is in charge of the company’s global sales and marketing. In 2002, she was instrumental in the formation of IBM’s business services division, including overseeing IBM’s $3.5 billion purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting business, which is a key element of a strategy that has made IBM a heavily copied company(

A computer science degree holder from Northwestern University, Rometty has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune Magazine. According to, Palmisano, who had been CEO since 2002, said Rometty was the board’s choice because she had successfully led several of IBM’s most important businesses in the past 10 years and is the ideal CEO to head the firm into its next 100 years.




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