IBM CEO Arvind Krishna to replace Rometty as chairman

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna to replace Rometty as chairman
Arvind Krishna  |  Photo Credit: IBM
18 Dec, 2020

Armonk, New York headquartered information technology (IT) services giant IBM has appointed CEO Arvind Krishna as the chairman of its board, effective January 1, 2021.

Krishna will take over the position from outgoing executive chairman Ginni Rometty, who is set to retire on December 31 after a four-decade stint at the company, a statement said.

Prior to being appointed as CEO in January, Krishna served as the senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software. He was the principal architect of the $34 billion Red Hat acquisition, IBM’s biggest buy till date. The acquisition gave IBM the capability to compete in the cloud computing era against rivals such as Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft.

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He also led the spin-off of IBM's $19 billion managed infrastructure services business from the global technology services division to a new publicly listed company, NewCo. 

Krishna’s career in IBM spans nearly three decades. An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, he joined IBM in 1990 and worked through a myriad of roles for the first 18 years. This included research work on the initial Watson computers -- Watson was officially launched in 2010 as a Q&A computer -- and managing the database/warehouse products for the company. He subsequently went on to take up leadership roles in the information management software function, and the development and manufacturing of the systems and technology groups.

Krishna has worked in key cloud verticals in IBM, and was a key contributor in the development of cloud-based AI-platform Watson. In 2015, he was elevated to the post of senior vice president and director of research, and in 2017, he was offered the position of senior vice president of hybrid cloud.

In January, IBM’s India operations witnessed a leadership change. The firm appointed Sandip Patel as the managing director for its India and South Asia operations following the departure of Karan Bajwa. Bajwa stepped down from the role in less than four years. Patel was earlier based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was IBM’s global general manager for the insurance industry and responsible for its business across all brands in that market segment.