IBM Board Appoints CEO Arvind Krishna As Chairman, Replacing Rometty

The move comes after Krishna, a longtime IBM executive and a principal architect of the Red Hat acquisition, replaced Ginni Rometty as CEO in April, making him the Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s 10th chief executive.


IBM’s board of directors appointed CEO Arvind Krishna as its chairman, taking over from executive chairman and former chief executive Ginni Rometty, who is retiring at the end of the year.

The move, which was disclosed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, comes after Krishna, a longtime IBM executive, replaced Rometty as CEO in April, making him the Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s 10th chief executive. Krishna, who first joined IBM in 1990, had already been serving on the board as a director since his CEO appointment.

[Related: Arvind Krishna: IBM Opposes Facial Recognition For Racial Profiling]

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In a press release, IBM said Krishna was a “principal architect” of the company’s Red Hat acquisition when he was senior vice president for cloud and cognitive software. More recently, he led the spin-off of IBM’s $19 billion Global Technology Services managed infrastructure services unit, which the company said will allow it to focus on its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence platform.

Rometty’s retirement, which was previously disclosed, will mark an end to the executive’s 39-year tenure at the company, for which she “took bold strategic actions to reposition IBM for the hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence era,” according to IBM. This included investing in “high-value segments of the IT market and divesting $9 billion of businesses. Her leadership over the Red Hat acquisition positioned IBM “for long-term success,” the company added.

“At the same time, she established IBM as the industry‘s leading voice in technology ethics and data stewardship,” IBM said in its press release announcing Krishna’s appointment, “and her commitment to the reinvention of education for the digital era led to the explosive growth of the six-year Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, or P-TECHs, which are helping prepare the workforce of the future, serving hundreds of thousands of students in more than 240 schools in 28 countries.”

In a letter to Rometty filed with the SEC, IBM said the company may seek consulting services from her in the three years following her retirement. For every day she provides such services as an independent contractor, she will receive $20,000. If she works less than four hours in a day, she will receive $10,000 instead. IBM will also cover any related travel expenses and let her use company aircraft with Krishna’s prior approval.