IBM CEO Virginia M. Rometty took the helm Jan. 1, 2012, as the 100-year-old company's first female CEO, replacing longtime CEO Samuel Palmisano, who remains as the company's chairman. When her appointment was announced in October 2011, Rometty told the New York Times that she does not anticipate changing course abruptly. Yet, Romettty's first move, on Jan. 3, was to make key management changes in sales, growth markets and services. The next day, the company announced its plans to acquire Green Hat, a software testing company. Is this the pace of change we can expect under her leadership? The New York Times calls IBM "a company so predictable that its financial forecast is packaged as a âfive-year road map.'". Bloomberg reports that Rometty is trying to reach a goal of $20 billion in new revenue for IBM by 2015. Rometty, who has been with the company since 1981, led the IBM services division for more than a decade before shifting in 2009 to the position of SVP and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing & Strategy. She's been one of the driving forces behind the expansion of the company's analytics unit, among other achievements. For years now, IBM has been a trusted enterprise partner that many CIOs have relied upon to get the right products and solutions into their offices. The ascension of a new CEO - even one with Big Blue roots as deep as Rometty's - is likely to raise questions for enterprise CIOs about the direction the company will take next. With that in mind, here are nine things IT leaders need to know about Rometty.
If you're worried about IBM pulling a Cisco and starting to focus its efforts on consumers, don't be. IBM will always be an enterprise-focused firm, and it has no desire to change that. Is Rometty likely to try out new products? Of course. But don't expect them to be detrimental to your business.
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