IBM has appointed Virginia Rometty as its first female chief executive in its 100-year history, Daniel Hadlow writes.
Rometty, currently the head of sales, marketing and strategy, will take over from Sam Palmisano in January, and join the small, but ever-growing list of women heading major corporations.
This follows another major technology firm giving its top role to a woman, with IBM’s rival Hewlett Packard confirming Meg Whitman as chief executive in September. She joins other women at the heights of the technology business sector, such as Xerox’s Ursula Burns.
Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden, head of Catalyst Europe, a non-profit group that aims to promote opportunities for women in business, said:
“One always smiles when we receive a phone call asking us to comment on the news of another woman getting a top role, but this shows a move in the right direction towards a tipping point. It is a testament to IBM’s focus on the advancement of top talent, and at the end of the day, it’s all about talent.”
Rometty can also now claim the role of being the head of the biggest company with a female chief executive, displacing Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo.
Ginni, as she is known, has been with IBM since 1981 and climbed rapidly up the corporate ladder. As global sales leader, she is responsible for revenues and profits in 170 markets that exceeded $99bn in 2010.