September 26, 2012 – IBM elected President and CEO Virginia M. Rometty as its chairman of the board, as former chair and company leader Samuel Palmisano will move into an advisory role before retirement later this year.
Rometty, 55, officially moved into Palmisano’s position as president and CEO at the start of 2012 following a careful transition announcement made a few months earlier. Rometty will assume the chairman position Oct. 1 as Palmisano steps down. A release on the new board appointment specifically cited her leadership in integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting into its professional services division. In the last nine months, IBM has also pledged billions of dollars toward acquiring Kenexa, a talent management software and as-a-service provider as well as big data vendor Vivismo. Rometty is IBM’s ninth CEO and previously held executive positions at IBM in sales and marketing.
Palmisano, who became IBM CEO in 2002 and chairman of the board a year later, will become a senior adviser until his retirement date of Dec. 1. A release from IBM lauded Palmisano’s accomplishments in lessening its PC, printer and hardware focus, and increasing investment in analytics and cloud computing.