Information technology company IBM on Thursday named Indian-born Arvind Krishna its chief executive officer to replace Virginia Rometty, who had held the post since 2012. Top technology companies Google and Microsoft are already led by Indian-born CEOs.
Krishna, 57, is currently the head of IBM’s cloud and cognitive software unit. He was involved with the company’s purchase of Red Hat, an American multinational software company last year. He has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. He has worked with IBM since 1990, the company said.
Krishna will officially take over from Rometty in April.
During Rometty’s eight years at the helm, IBM completed 65 acquisitions, the last of them culminating in the $34-billion (Rs 2.43 lakh crore) deal for Red Hat in 2019. This was the biggest purchase in IBM’s history.
Shares of IBM jumped 5% in extended trading after the change of guard, according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, the information technology firm had reported its first revenue growth in six quarters.
Rometty will continue as executive chairperson and retire at the end of the year. “Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” Rometty said in a statement. Wedbush Securities Inc analyst Moshe Katri said the move was a “welcome and overdue leadership change”.
In another announcement, IBM said Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst will become its president.