Arvind Krishna to Succeed Ginni Rometty as IBM CEO; Jim Whitehurst Named President

Jeff Brody
Arvind Krishna

Arvind Krishna, senior vice president for cloud and cognitive software at IBM (NYSE: IBM), has been elected to serve as CEO and board member of the company, effective April 6.

He will succeed Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, who will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board and retire by the end of 2020 after a nearly four-decade career with IBM, the company said Thursday.

The board of directors also elected James “Jim” Whitehurst, an SVP at IBM and CEO of Red Hat, to serve as president of IBM in a move that will take effect on April 6.

Krishna “is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.  … He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era,” Rometty said.

"Jim is also a seasoned leader who has positioned Red Hat as the world's leading provider of open source enterprise IT software solutions and services, and has been quickly expanding the reach and benefit of that technology to an even wider audience as part of IBM," Rometty added.

Krishna currently leads the company’s IBM Research, IBM Security, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Applications businesses. He was instrumental in the company’s acquisition of Red Hat and previously served as general manager of development and manufacturing organization within IBM’s systems and technology group.

Whitehurst is an open software advocate and has helped advance revenue growth and market capitalization efforts during his tenure at Red Hat. He previously served as chief operating officer at Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and as a partner at The Boston Consulting Group.

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