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Virginia Rometty: First Female CEO of IBM

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 27 October 2011, 11:03 Hrs
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Bangalore: Technology giant IBM recently announced its first female CEO in the company's 100 year history.

A company famous for its conservative corporate culture Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, will take over as CEO from Sam Palmisano. SAM's influence on IBM's future will outlast his tenure by years, which explains why IBM saw Rometty as an ideal candidate for the job. Rometty has led strategically important divisions of the company as it has shifted to services and products with high profit margins, like software that mines vast troves of corporate and online data for sales and cost-saving opportunities. The selection of Rometty for the top job at IBM will make her one of the most prominent women executives in corporate America, joining a small group of chiefs that includes Ursula Burns of Xerox, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Ellen J. Kullman of DuPont and Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard.

Rometty, SVP and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, is following a tough act. She will take over the company on 1 January 2012, while Sam will continue as board of chairman and remain as a powerful presence within the company. The 54 year old lady is currently in charge of sales and marketing at the company based in Armonk, New York. Rometty, who graduated from Northwestern University with an undergraduate degree in computer science, joined I.B.M. in 1981 as a systems engineer. She quickly moved up to a series of management jobs, working with clients in industries including banking, insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing and health care.

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