CEO of IBM
"Virginia "Ginni" Rometty is an American business executive. She is the current chairman, president, and CEO of IBM, and the first woman to head the company. Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012, she held the positions of senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing, and strategy at IBM. She joined IBM as a systems engineer in 1981.
Rometty's tenure as CEO has been marked by prestigious awards including by Bloomberg who named her among the 50 Most Influential People in the World, and Fortune naming her among the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" for ten consecutive years. Her tenure as CEO has been met by criticism related to executive compensation, outsourcing, and IBM's 23 consecutive quarters of revenue decline.
After graduation in 1979, Rometty went to work for General Motors Institute. In 1981, she joined IBM as a systems engineer in its Detroit office. She joined IBM's Consulting Group in 1991. In 2002, she "championed the purchase of the big business consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, for $3.5 billion." Rometty became senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing, and strategy in 2009 and is "credited with spearheading IBM's growth strategy by getting the company into the butt computing and analytics businesses. She was also at the helm of readying Watson, the Jeopardy! playing computer, for commercial use."
On October 25, 2011, IBM announced that she was to be the company's next president and CEO, with Sam Palmisano stepping down but retaining his position as chairman. Rometty's appointment marks the first time a woman has been CEO of IBM. Regarding her promotion, Palmisano stated, "Ginni got it because she deserved it ... It’s got zero to do with progressive social policies."
On September 26, 2012, IBM announced that Rometty was taking on the added role of chairman of IBM, as Samuel Palmisano prepared to retire at the end of 2012. Rometty commenced her duty as chairman, president, and CEO of IBM on October 1, 2012. One of her goals is to focus company efforts on the cloud and cognitive computing systems, such as Watson.
Rometty serves on the Council on Foreign Relations; the Board of Trustees of her alma mater Northwestern University; the Board of Overseers and Board of Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and is a council member at the Latin America Conservation Council, a subsidiary of The Nature Conservancy. She also served on the Board of Directors of AIG from 2006 until 2009.
In 2014, Rometty was featured in the PBS documentary The Boomer List. Also that year, she became the third female member of the Augusta National Golf Club. She has received honorary doctoral degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2014) and Northwestern University (2015).
In Fortune's September 15, 2015 issue, Rometty ranked third on their Most Powerful Women List.
Named the eleventh most powerful woman on the 2016 Forbes list: The World's 100 Most Powerful Women." (1)