The board of directors of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM has elected Virginia Rometty as the company's next president and CEO, as well as a member of the board of directors. She'll start the new position on Jan. 1, 2012 and will succeed Samuel Palmisano, who will remain chairman of the board for IBM.
Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer and has since held several leadership positions in the company, including managing the Global Insurance and Financial Services divisions. In her former role as senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, she led the successful acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting and built a team of more than 100,000 business consultants and service experts. Rometty also helped IBM attain a yearly revenue of more than $99 billion in her current role as the company's global sales leader.
Rometty will be IBM's first female CEO.
"There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment," said Rometty in a statement announcing the appointment. "Today, IBM's strategies and business model are correct. Our ability to execute and deliver consistent results for clients and shareholders is strong. This is due to Sam's leadership, his discipline, and his unshakable belief in the ability of IBM and IBMers to lead into the future. Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM."