IBM has announced that, for the first time in its history, it will have a woman run the company.
With annual revenue of $100 billion and a market capitalization over $210 billion, Rometty will be taking charge of one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Virginia Ginni Rometty's promotion to chief executive of IBM was a carefully planned transition.
Rometty has a long history with IBM. She first joined the company in 1981 as an engineer and eventually worked her way up to become IBM's sales and marketing chief. She has implemented and designed several key strategies along with the current CEO Sam Palmisano, that will insure the company's profitability. The two developed the firm's so-called roadmap to 2015. The plan indicates that IBM will double its earnings per share by that year and also increase growth in two of the world's biggest developing nations, China and India.
She was also a major player in the formation of IBM's business services division, which oversaw the company's $3.5 billion takeover of PricewaterhouseCooper's, a consulting business, in 2002.
Her predecessor will remain as chairman.
Change at the top does not mean a change of strategy, said Rometty according to BusinessWeek.com.
Rometty will make her mark as one of the dozen or so female CEOs in the Fortune 500. Last month, Hewlett-Packard Co. named Meg Whitman, a former eBay executive an candidate for governor of California, as its CEO. This means that two of the biggest technology companies will have female CEOs.
It does create an environment in which more of these high-ranking women executives can see that's within reach, said Jean Bozman, an analyst with IDC, according to The Economist. The more that happens, the more normal that will be. I think this might be a great sign that we've turned a corner. Certainly the Baby Boomers have wanted this for a long time.
HP and IBM are rival companies. While IBM nearly collapsed two decades ago, HP thrived during the dot-com boom. Now however, IBM has recouped its losses, while HP is in a slump.
Rometty is set to take the reins of the company Jan. 1, 2012.