updated 07:15 pm EDT, Tue October 25, 2011
Rometty succeeds Samuel Palmisano
IBM has announced that it has elected Virginia Rometty to serve as the company's new CEO. The move marks the first time the company has placed a woman in the top spot. She is not a newcomer to the upper ranks, however, having served as senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy.
Rometty will succeed Samuel Palmisano, IBM's current chairman, president and chief executive. Palmisano will retain his position as chairman of the board, which he has held for eight years, while Rometty will also serve as a member 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," said Palmisano. "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"
IBM recently surpassed Microsoft to become the second most valuable technology company, with a market cap that currently exceeds $251 billion. The company exited the consumer PC business in 2005 with a sale to Lenovo, however the subsequent focus on services and enterprise products appears to have proven successful.
Rometty will formally begin her duties as CEO on January 1.