The IBM board of directors has elected Virginia M. Rometty president and chief executive officer of the company, effective January 1, 2012. She will also start as a member of the board of directors, from that time. Rometty is currently IBM senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy. She succeeds Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. Palmisano will remain chairman of the board.

“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,” Palmisano said. “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.”

Rometty said: “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.”

Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University.

 

Virginia M. Rometty (President to-be and CEO to-be, IBM): Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM.

Samuel J. Palmisano (Chairman, president, CEO, IBM): I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century.