Rometty at the 2011 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit
Virginia Marie Nicosia|
July 29, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Northwestern University (B.S.)|
|Occupation||Chairman, president, and CEO of IBM|
|Salary||US$32.7 million (2016)|
|Predecessor||Samuel J. Palmisano|
Virginia Marie "Ginni" Rometty (born July 29, 1957) is an American business executive. She is the current chair, president, and CEO of IBM, and the first woman to head the company. Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012, she first joined IBM as a systems engineer in 1981 and subsequently headed global sales, marketing, and strategy. While general manager of IBM’s global services division, in 2002 she helped negotiate IBM's purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers IT consulting business, becoming known for her work integrating the two companies. Since becoming CEO, she has focused IBM on analytics, cloud computing, and cognitive computing systems.
Rometty's tenure as CEO has been marked by awards including by Bloomberg who named her among the 50 Most Influential People in the World, while Fortune has named her among the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" since 2005. Her tenure has also been met by criticism relating to executive compensation, outsourcing, and revenue decline. She was named the sixth most important person in tech by TIME in March 2018.
Early life and education
Ginni Rometty was born on July 29, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois as Virginia Marie Nicosia. Growing up outside Chicago, she was the eldest of four children in an Italian-American family. Her parents divorced and her father left when she was fifteen years old, and her mother subsequently took on multiple jobs to support the family while Rometty looked after the household in the evenings.
She began attending Northwestern University in Illinois in 1975 on a scholarship from General Motors, where she interned between her junior and senior years. Rometty was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, eventually serving as its president. She graduated with high honors from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in 1979, receiving a bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering. She has received honorary doctoral degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2014) and Northwestern University (2015).
1979-1990s: GM and IBM technical positions
After graduation in 1979, Rometty went to work for General Motors Institute in Detroit, where she was responsible for application and systems development. In 1981 she joined IBM as a systems analyst and systems engineer in Detroit. Initially working with clients in the insurance industry, she spent her first ten years at IBM in technical positions. The New York Times writes that she "quickly moved up to a series of management jobs," where she worked with clients in insurance, banking, telecommunications, manufacturing and health care. She spent the 1990s working in sales, and by the late 1990s was helping clients such as Prudential Financial, Inc. with their internet features. She joined IBM's Consulting Group in 1991.
2000-2011: IBM management
While general manager of IBM’s global services division, in 2002 she championed and helped negotiate the purchase of the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for $3.5 billion. The acquisition was the "largest in professional services history" and launched IBM in the services business. While serving as senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, Rometty then received her "big break" at IBM when she was given the task of integrating PricewaterhouseCoopers and its consultants with IBM. In 2002 TIME named her to its 2002 Global Business Influential list. From 2005 until 2009 she was the senior vice president of Global Business Services at IBM, and she also became senior vice president of Enterprise Business Services-IBM Global Services in July 2005. Among other roles, she served as general manager of IBM Global Services, Americas, as well as general manager of IBM's Global Insurance and Financial Services Sector. She was also managing partner at IBM Business Consulting Services, Inc. and general of manager of Insurance Industry Group. Rometty received the Carl Sloane Award 2006 from the Association of Management Consulting Firms.
Laid out by Rometty and other IBM executives, in 2007 IBM announced a five-year growth plan concerning revenue growth and capital allocation. Among other strategies, the "2015 Roadmap" outlined moving IBM away from the hardware industry to focus on businesses such as software and services. Rometty became senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing, and strategy in 2009, focusing on the company's "fast-growing analytics unit." In January 2009, she was placed in charge of IBM's sales force, serving as senior vice president of global sales and distribution until 2010. During this time she pushed the development of IBM's growth-markets unit, which had been created in 2008 to focus on emerging markets such as Brazil and Vietnam. From 2010 until 2012 she was an IBM senior vice president, and from 2010 until 2012, she was IBM's Group Executive of Sales, Marketing & Strategy. In 2011, CNN reported that she was is "credited with spearheading IBM's growth strategy by getting the company into the cloud computing and analytics businesses. She was also at the helm of readying Watson, the Jeopardy! playing computer, for commercial use."
2012-present: CEO of IBM
On October 25, 2011, IBM announced that she was to be the company's next president and CEO, becoming the ninth chief executive in its history. Her role as IBM's first female chief received note in the press, with former CEO Sam Palmisano responding that her selection had "zero to do with progressive social policies." She became chief executive and president on January 1, 2012, also taking on the additional role of IBM chairperson on October 1, 2012 when Palmisano retired. With plans to take IBM out of unprofitable business lines and citing big data and analytics as IBM's "next big growth machine," in 2014 she brokered a partnership for Apple to design applications for IBM's enterprise customers. Later that year she announced that IBM would partner with SAP on cloud computing and with Twitter on data analytics, and in 2015 she also brokered a partnership with Box. Rometty had IBM spend $8.5 billion acquiring around 30 companies between 2012 and 2015, and by 2016 she had overseen the divestment of about $7 billion in commoditized assets such as chip manufacturing.
In May 2017, Austin Business reported that Rometty had successfully shifted IBM away from "shrinking businesses such as computers and operating system software, and into higher-growth areas like artificial intelligence." On June 28, 2017, she was awarded the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award. In January 2018, she announced IBM's first quarter of year-over-year revenue increase since 2012, with particular growth in areas such as data, blockchain, and the cloud. By 2018, she stated that around half of IBM's 9,043 patents in 2017 were in AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing.
Boards and committees
A director at IBM since 2012, Rometty has also been involved in IBM organizations such as its Women in Technology Council, Women's Executive Council, and Women's Leadership Council. A former director at APQC, she also served on the board of directors of AIG from 2006 until 2009. She remains on the board of overseers and board of managers for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and since 2013 she has been a council member at the Latin America Conservation Council. Rometty serves on the Council on Foreign Relations and is also on the board of trustees of her alma mater Northwestern University, where she was commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2015. She was a member of the White House's Business Advisory Panel for much of 2017, before the panel dissolved itself that August. In November 2017, she co-chaired WEF Davos.
Rometty's tenure as IBM CEO has been marked by prestigious rankings, including by Bloomberg, who named her among the 50 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. She was also named to the Time 100 list in 2012, and in 2014 Rometty was featured in the PBS documentary The Boomer List. Since 2005 she has been listed among Fortune's “50 Most Powerful Women in Business," ranking in the top 10 since 2010. After ranking No. 7 in 2011, she ranked No. 1 from 2012 until 2014, No. 3 in 2015, No. 4 in 2016, and No. 7 in 2017. She was named to Forbes magazine's "World's 100 Most Powerful People" in 2014, and she also ranked No. 11 on the 2016 Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women. The following year she ranked No. 10. She was named the sixth most important person in tech by TIME magazine in March 2018.
Rometty's tenure as CEO has met with criticism as well, and by 2016 she had been named among the worst CEOs by publications including the Motley Fool, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and 24/7 Wallstreet. She was criticized by investors for 22 consecutive quarters of revenue decline between 2012 and the summer of 2017, and by IBM employees for accepting pay bonuses during times of layoffs and outsourcing.
Rometty married Mark Anthony Rometty, a private-equity investor, in 1979. With no children, the couple divides their time between New York and Bonita Springs, Florida. Among her hobbies are Broadway shows and scuba diving. In 2014 Rometty became the third female member of the Augusta National Golf Club.
- "Virginia Rometty". prezi.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Waters, Richard. "More than a big smile on Big Blue's face". October 28, 2011. Financial Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "IBM Notice of 2017 Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement", SEC, 2017
- Aluise, Susan J. (May 10, 2012). "America's 10 Most Powerful Female CEOs". InvestorPlace. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Barnett, Megan (November 14, 2011). "Buffett goes big in Big Blue". Fortune. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "IBM Names Rometty to Succeed Palmisano as First Female CEO". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "IBM's Ginni Rometty Completes Her Ascent by Adding Chairman Role". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Virginia M. Rometty Profile", Bloomberg
- "Ginni Rometty: Reinventing Big Blue", Barron's, Leslie P. Norton, May 31, 2014
- Hempel, Jessi (8 October 2012). "IBM's Ginni Rometty looks ahead". Fortune.
- "IBM's Rometty Kept on Rising", Spencer E. Ante And Joann S. Lublin, Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2011
- Bellstrom, Kristen (September 15, 2015). "Fortune's Most Powerful Women List". Fortune.
- "IBM grants CEO Ginni Rometty a record bonus after share surge", Financial Review, February 7, 2017
- 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets magazine in September 2012
- "Ginni Rometty". Fortune. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- "Ginni Rometty". Fortune. 2014.
- "CEOs Who Have to Go in 2016". 247wallst.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- "Fortune Magazine". Gets a Raise Despite Tumbling Stock Price.
- "IBM 's sales grew for the first time in 5 years", Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN, January 18, 2018
- "The 20 Most Influential People in Tech Right Now", TIME, May 8, 2017
- "NU appoints 5 new members to Board of Trustees". Northwestern University. June 25, 2010. Archived from the original on June 29, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- "Lunch with the FT: Ginni Rometty", Gillian Tett, Financial Times, February 6, 2015
- "IBM Names Virginia Rometty as First Female CEO". Wired. October 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- "Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates 1,613 in 208th Commencement Ceremony". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "IBM executive, Northwestern alumna Virginia Rometty to speak at 2015 commencement". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "I.B.M. Names Virginia Rometty as New Chief Executive". The New York Times. October 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- "Council Members - Ginni Rometty", Latin America Conservation Council, 2018
- "IBM CEO Sam Palmisano to step down". CNN. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "IBM, Ginni Rometty sign yet another Silicon Valley partner", Business Journals, Caroline McMillan Portillo, June 24, 2015
- "Come into the office or quit, IBM says", Anthony Noto, Austin Business Journal, May 19, 2017
- "IBM CEO Rometty Proposes 'Watson's Law': AI In Everything", Adrian Bridgewater, Forbes, March 20, 2018
- "KPMG Honors Stem Pioneer Ginni Rometty for Inspiring Next Generation of Women Leaders", Cision, June 28, 2017
- "IBM Ends 22-Quarter Streak of Falling Revenue", Steve Lohr, The New York Times, January 18, 2018
- "IBM Breaks Records to Top U.S. Patent List for 25th Consecutive Year", IBM, January 9, 2018
- IBM's Rometty Breaks Ground as Company's First Female Leader. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 26 October 2011.
- "2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- "LACC Members". Latin America Conservation Council website. The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Private: IBM’s CEO Reveals Why Trump’s Business Advisory Panel Was Killed", Fortune, August 16, 2017
- "World Economic Forum asks seven women to co-chair Davos - and zero men", Telegraph, Sophie Christie, November 14, 2017
- Time 100 in 2012,Mayer, Marissa (18 April 2012). "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "The Boomer List". PBS. pp. Rometty starting at 1 hr 6 min. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Ginni Rometty - Most Powerful Women", Fortune, 2017
- Forbes magazine's "World's 100 Most Powerful People" in 2014."The world's 100 most powerful". Forbes.
- "World's Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
- "World's Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
- Mattera, Sam (2017-05-02). "The Worst Tech CEOs of 2014 -- The Motley Fool". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- Hartung, Adam. "Why You Do Not Want To Own IBM: Growth Stalls Are Deadly". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- Lublin, Joann S. (2015-06-25). "How Much the Best-Performing and Worst-Performing CEOs Got Paid". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- "Mark Cuban Slams IBM: It's 'No Longer A Tech Company. They Have No Vision.'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
- "IBM: Employees React to Rometty, Exec Bonuses as Layoffs Reach 5K". thevarguy.com. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- Stewart, James B. (5 November 2011). "A C.E.O.'s Support System, a k a Husband". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- "Virginia Rometty becomes 3rd female member of Augusta National - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
Media related to Ginni Rometty at Wikimedia Commons
Samuel J. Palmisano
| CEOs of IBM