The IBM board of directors today elected Virginia M. Rometty chairman of the board, effective October 1, 2012.
Today, the IBM board of directors appointed Virginia M. Rometty chairman of the board, effective October 1, 2012. Rometty currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM. Ms. Rometty was appointed to these positions effective January 1, 2012. Ms. Rometty began her career with IBM in 1981 in Detroit. Since then she has held a series of leadership positions in IBM, most recently as Senior Vice President and Group Executive, IBM Sales, Marketing, and Strategy. Ms. Rometty is a leader in diversity initiatives including IBM's Women in Technology Council and the Women's Leadership Council, and is one of the senior sponsors of the Women's Executive Council. She is a frequent speaker at industry and business conferences, and has been named to Fortune magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" for seven consecutive years, including most recently in 2011. Ms. Rometty serves on the Council on Foreign Relations; the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University; and the Board of Overseers and Board of Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University.
Mrs. Rometty succeeds Samuel J. Palmisano, who is stepping down from the board effective October 1, 2012.
Mr. Palmisano will become Senior Adviser to the company until he retires on December 1, 2012.
As of October 1, 2012, Mrs. Rometty's title will be IBM chairman, president, and chief executive officer. Mrs. Rometty, 55, is currently IBM's president and chief executive officer.
She succeeded Mr. Palmisano as IBM's ninth CEO in January of this year, after holding senior leadership positions in IBM's services, sales, strategy, and marketing units.
Mrs. Rometty led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting -- the largest acquisition in professional services history, building a team of more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts.
She became a director of IBM in January.
Mr. Palmisano, 61, became IBM chief executive officer in 2002 and chairman of the board in 2003.
During his tenure, IBM transformed its product and services portfolio, exiting commoditizing businesses, including PCs, printers, and hard disk drives, and greatly increasing investments in analytics, cloud computing, and other high-value businesses and technologies.
He has overseen the transformation of IBM from a multinational into a globally integrated enterprise. During Mr. Palmisano's tenure as CEO, IBM created over $100 billion of total shareholder value.