28 October 2011

Virginia Rometty: First Female CEO of IBM

rometty 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.

meg Last month, Meg Whitman was designated as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Previously Whitman had also worked at eBay when it was a newbie startup during the dotcom boom and channelized it to become an internet auction powerhouse. She also ran unsuccessfully for California governor last year. After Rometty takes over the leadership at IBM, women will be in charge of the world's largest technology companies.

As long as Whitman's HP is a sprawling company in disorder, Rometty will succeed a finely tuned IBM whose focus on the high-margin businesses of technology services and software has helped it thrive.

Speaking to the guardian Jean Bozman, an analyst with IDC who has followed both the tech giants closely for years said that the appointment of the two ladies as CEO is setting a fabulous example in the promotion of female executives.

IBM "It is a good sign," Bozman said. "It does create an environment in which more of these high-ranking women executives can see that's within reach. The more that happens, the more normal that will be. I think this might be a great sign that we have turned a corner. Certainly the Baby Boomers have wanted this for a long time."He added

As reported by the guardian recently Sam Palmisano in a statement said that "Rometty has led some of IBM's most important businesses, and was instrumental in the formation of IBM's business services division. She oversaw IBM's $3.5 billion purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting business in 2002, which is a key element of a strategy that has made IBM a widely copied company. She is "more than a superb operational executive," Palmisano said.

Further, it is also reported that pharmaceutical firm Mylan also declared that Heather Bresch will succeed Robert Coury as CEO. If no women step down before the end of 2011, there will be 18 women running Fortune 500 companies in 2012.