IBM appoints Arvind Krishna as CEO

Another Indian named chief of a global tech company; IBM appoints Arvind Krishna as new CEO

India gleams with pride as yet another Indian is named as CEO of a global organization. It was Sathya Nadella for Microsoft, then Sundar Pichai for Google, Shantanu Narayen for Adobe Inc, and now it is Arvind Krishna for IBM.

Arvind Krishna – the IIT Kanpur Ph.D. Graduate who is best credited with building and deploying the world’s fastest supercomputing systems for US National Laboratories – was elected by the Board of Directors of IBM.

He will assume his role on April 6, 2020.  The Fifty-seven-year-old Krishna is currently IBM Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software and was a principal architect of the company’s acquisition of Red Hat.  He joined IBM in 1990.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be elected as the next Chief Executive Officer of IBM, and appreciate the confidence that Ginni and the Board have placed in me,” said Krishna.  “IBM has such talented people and technology that we can bring together to help our clients solve their toughest problems.  I am looking forward to working with IBMers, Red Hatters and clients around the world at this unique time of fast-paced change in the IT industry.  We have great opportunities ahead to help our clients advance the transformation of their business while also remaining the global leader in the trusted stewardship of the technology.  Jim will be a great partner in the next step of this journey.”

James Whitehurst, IBM Senior Vice President and CEO of Red Hat, was also elected by the Board as IBM President, effective April 6, 2020.  Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board and serve through the end of the year, when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” said Rometty. “He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.  He is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow.  Arvind has grown IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results and is an authentic, values-driven leader.  He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era.”

“Arvind thinks and executes squarely at the intersection of business and technology,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman of the Board’s Executive Compensation and Management Resources Committee.  “He is an ideal leader to succeed Ginni and take IBM and its clients into the next chapter of the cloud and cognitive era.  Jim has been a great addition to IBM’s leadership team.  His considerable business and leadership skills will help IBM grow and flourish, and as President, he will help Arvind and IBM continue to accelerate and scale the benefits of Red Hat while ensuring that Red Hat also preserves its unique culture and commitment to open source innovation.”

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