IBM Elects SVP Virginia Rometty as President, CEO as of Jan. 1, 2012

IBM‘s (NYSE: IBM) board of directors has elected 31-year company veteran Virginia M. Rometty to succeed Samuel Palmisano as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Palmisano will retain his position as chairman of the board. Rometty has joined the board effective of the announcement.

Rometty currently serves as IBM’s senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy. She previously was senior vice president of IBM global business services, where she led the integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, the largest acquisition in professional services history.

“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, ” Palmisano said.  “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.”

Palmisano has served as IBM’s CEO since 2002 and as chairman of the board since 2003. Over that time, the company reports its earnings per share increased almost five times over, while shareholder value increase by more than $100 billion as measured by market capitalization and dividends paid.

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