International Business Machines Corp., better known as IBM, has announced that Indian American Arvind Krishna has been elected by the company’s board of directors as the successor to Virginia Rometty, who is stepping down from her post as chief executive officer. The IBM Board of Directors elected Krishna as company CEO and member of the Board of Directors effective April 6.
Krishna will be succeeding Virginia Rometty, who described Krishna as the “right CEO for the next era at IBM” and “well-positioned” to lead the company into the cloud and cognitive era. Krishna, who is currently IBM senior vice president for Cloud and Cognitive Software and was a principal architect of the company’s acquisition of Red Hat.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be elected as the next chief executive officer of IBM and appreciate the confidence that Ginni and the board have placed in me,” said Krishna in a statement. “IBM has such talented people and technology that we can bring together to help our clients solve their toughest problems,” he said.
“I am looking forward to working with IBMers, Red Hatters and clients around the world at this unique time of fast-paced change in the IT industry. We have great opportunities ahead to help our clients advance the transformation of their business while also remaining the global leader in the trusted stewardship of technology,” Krishna said.
Rometty said 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 also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow.”
She said Krishna has grown IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Krishna was a “principal architect” of the company’s acquisition of Red Hat.
“Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results, and is an authentic, values-driven leader.”
Krishna, 57, is IBM senior vice president for Cloud and Cognitive Software, where he leads the IBM business unit that provides the cloud and data platform on which IBM’s clients build the future.
His current responsibilities also include the IBM Cloud, IBM Security and Cognitive Applications business, and IBM Research. Previously, he was general manager of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group’s development and manufacturing organization, his bio notes.
Prior to that he built and led many of IBM’s data-related businesses. He has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined IBM in 1990.
Krishna’s appointment as head of the global IT giant adds to the growing list of Indian-origin executives at the helm of some of the biggest multinational companies. Krishna joins the club that includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.