The Korea Herald


IBM names its first female CEO


Published : Oct. 26, 2011 - 10:17

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — IBM Corp. ushered in Virginia Rometty as the company's first-ever female CEO on Tuesday, as Sam Palmisano stepped down from the position.

Palmisano, who turned 60 this year, has been CEO for nearly a decade. He will stay on as chairman. Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, 54, is in charge of IBM's sales and marketing, and has long been whispered about by industry watchers as Palmisano's likely heir.

With Rometty's appointment, effective Jan. 1, women will be in charge of two of the world's largest technology companies.

Last month, Meg Whitman was named CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. Whitman joined eBay Inc. when it was a fledgling startup during the dot-com boom and guided it to become an Internet auction powerhouse and later ran for California governor.

While Whitman's HP is a sprawling company in disarray, Rometty will inherit a finely tuned IBM whose focus on the high-margin businesses of technology services and software has helped it thrive.

IBM's move was unexpected. Palmisano had tamped down earlier talk of his retirement, insisting that he wanted to stay on as chief. In rare public comments, he said last year that he was "not going anywhere" and that there's no formal policy at IBM dictating when a CEO should retire.

Palmisano in a statement said that Rometty has led some of IBM's most important businesses, and was instrumental in the formation of IBM's business services division. She oversaw IBM's $3.5 billion purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting business in 2002, which is a key element of a strategy that has made IBM a heavily copied company. She is "more than a superb operational executive," Palmisano said.

"She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company's future," Palmisano said. "I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century."

Investors had liked the idea of Palmisano staying at the helm.

IBM shares fell $1.59, or 0.9 percent, to $178.77 in extended trading, after the change was announced.



IBM, 사상 첫 여성 CEO 내정

IBM은 버지니아 로메티(54.여) 선임 부사장을 최고경영자(CEO)로 내정했다고 월스트리트저널 인터넷판이 25일(현지시간) 보도했다.

IBM 이사회는 로메티 부사장이 내년부터 CEO직을 수행하게 된다고 밝혔다. 현 C EO인 새뮤얼 팔미사노는 이사회 의장직을 맡는다.

로메티는 IT업계 내에서는 잘 알려져 있으나 일반인들에게는 생소한 인물이다.

하지만 사내에서는 회사가 서비스와 소프트웨어 부문으로 전략을 수정하는 과정에서 중요한 역할을 했다는 평가를 받고 있다.

로메티는 이에 따라 제록스의 우슐라 번즈, 펩시코의 인드라 누이, 듀폰의 엘렌 쿨먼 등에 이어 미국내 유명 기업의 여성CEO가 됐다.

팔미사노는 "지니(로메티의 애칭)가 그자리(CEO)에 오를 자격이 있다"면서 "CEO 선임에 성(性)은 고려대상이 아니다"라고 말했다.

로메티는 노스웨스턴대학에서 컴퓨터 사이언스학을 전공하고 1981년 IBM에 시스 템 엔지니어로 입사한 후 고속승진을 계속해 2009년 판매·마케팅·전략 담당  부사 장직에 올랐으며, 중국과 인도, 브라질 등 신흥시장 진출을 주도해왔다.

IBM CEO는 전통적으로 특별한 문제가 없더라도 60세에는 물러나는 전통이  있으 며, 2002년부터 CEO직을 수행해온 팔미사노는 지난 7월 60세가 됐다.