Big Blue will be headed by a woman next year; Samual J. Palmisano, the current CEO of IBM, will be replaced by Virginia Rometty, who has been the company's senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy.
The changeover will take place on the 1st of January next year and will see Palmisano step down from IBM after nearly a decade at the helm. He steered IBM through some very tough challenges including the sale of the PC arm in 2004 to Lenovo, as well as a raft of acquisitions under his leadership including PWC consulting and Cognos.
Ms. Rometty said, "There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment. Sam had the courage to transform the company based on his belief that computing technology, our industry, even world economies would shift in historic ways. All of that has come to pass".
Last year, Palmisano revealed that Big Blue would earmark a whopping $20 billion to spend on acquisitions between 2011 and 2015 and generate more than $100 billion in cash flow over the same period.
It looks therefore likely that Rometty will be the one tasked with making this vision of Big Blue happen with software likely to contribute a significant portion of their segment profit.