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Arvind Krishna elected as IBM Chief Executive Officer, James Whitehurst elected President

Krishna, who is currently Senior Vice-President for Cloud and Cognitive Software and was a principal architect of the company's acquisition of Red Hat, was elected as the CEO by the board

(L) Arvind Krishna and James Whitehurst (R)

Arvind Krishna was elected as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IBM by the board members. Virginia Rometty will continue as the Executive Chairman and will retire at the end of the year after 40 years with the company.  Krishna is currently responsible for IBM Research, IBM Cloud, and IBM’s Security and Cognitive Applications businesses.

James Whitehurst, IBM Senior Vice-President and CEO of Red Hat, was also elected by the Board as IBM President.

Commenting on the board’s decision and his new role as the CEO, Krishna said, "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. 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 the technology.  Jim will be a great partner in the next step of this journey."

Speaking about the development, Rometty said, “Krishna is the right CE 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, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow. Arvind has grown IBM's Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history. 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.  He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era,” she said.

Talking about James Whitehurst, Rometty said, "Jim is also a seasoned leader who has positioned Red Hat as the world's leading provider of open-source enterprise IT software solutions and services and has been quickly expanding the reach and benefit of that technology to an even wider audience as part of IBM. In Arvind and Jim, the Board has elected a proven technical and business-savvy leadership team,” she added.

Speaking about his new role as the IBM President, Whitehurst said, "I look forward to working with Arvind, and with IBMers and Red Hatters alike, to continue to bring together the best of our companies and cultures. I've had the opportunity to interact with IBMers across the company over the past few months, and I have been so impressed with the talented and dedicated team we have.  When I first joined, I said that I believe we have the opportunity to be the defining technology company of the 21st century.  After working with our clients, IBMers and Red Hatters over the past months, I am even more convinced of that opportunity today."

Under Rometty, IBM made significant growth, she reinvented more than 50% of IBM's portfolio, built a $21-billion hybrid cloud business and established IBM's leadership in AI, quantum computing and blockchain, while divesting nearly $9 billion in annual revenue to focus the portfolio on IBM's high value, integrated offerings.

Krishna, 57, was the IBM Senior Vice-President for Cloud and Cognitive Software and was a principal architect of the company's acquisition of Red Hat. Commenting on the development, Michael Eskew, Lead Director of the IBM Board of Directors, said, “Ginni has provided outstanding leadership for IBM, substantially transforming the company and ushering in a new cloud and cognitive era. She has taken bold strategic actions to reposition IBM for the future, shedding businesses and growing new units organically and through acquisition, all while achieving record diversity and employee engagement and setting the industry standard for responsible technology ethics and data stewardship. With the strong foundation now established by Ginni, the Board is confident Arvind is the right CEO to lead IBM.”


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