Hard work, talent and perseverance really do pay off. Yesterday, the IBM board of directors name its new president and chief executive officer of the company. Her name is Virginia M. Rometty and with her new position she becomes the first female CEO of the technology company and one of the most powerful women in business. Am I allowed to say, “You go girl?”
Rometty is currently IBM senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy and will take over for Samuel J. Palmisano effective January 1, 2012.
“Ginni Rometty has successfully led several of IBM’s most important businesses over the past decade—from the formation of IBM Global Business Services to the build-out of our Growth Markets Unit,” Mr. Palmisano said. “But she is more than a superb operational executive. With every leadership role, she has strengthened our ability to integrate IBM’s capabilities for our clients. She has spurred us to keep pace with the needs and aspirations of our clients by deepening our expertise and industry knowledge. Ginni’s long-term strategic thinking and client focus are seen in our growth initiatives, from cloud computing and analytics to the commercialization of Watson. She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company’s future. I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century.”
Rometty had this to say about her new role at the company:
“There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment. Sam had the courage to transform the company based on his belief that computing technology, our industry, even world economies would shift in historic ways. All of that has come to pass. Today, IBM’s strategies and business model are correct. Our ability to execute and deliver consistent results for clients and shareholders is strong. This is due to Sam’s leadership, his discipline, and his unshakable belief in the ability of IBM and IBMers to lead into the future. Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM.”
The New York Times said the new position “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. Gender, according to Mr. Palmisano, did not figure into Ms. Rometty’s selection.”
“Ginni got it because she deserved it,” said Palmisano, “It’s got zero to do with progressive social policies.” Rometty has been with the company for 30 years, she joined IBM 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,” writes the NY Times.
Congratulations to Rometty who sets a fantastic example of what can be achieved in the business world by anyone who sets goals and sees them through intelligently.