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By Kimberly Chin
International Business Machines Corp. said Chief Executive Ginni Rometty is stepping down after a difficult eight-year run at the top of the iconic technology company as she struggled to deliver growth at a time other tech giants' fortunes blossomed.
Ms. Rometty, aged 62, will formally step down on April 6. She will be replaced by Arvind Krishna, who heads the company's cloud and cognitive software division, the company said on Thursday. Jim Whitehurst -- the chief executive of Red Hat, the open-source software giant that IBM acquired for approximately $33 billion last year -- was appointed the company's president.
Ms. Rometty will continue as the company's board chairman through the end of the year, at which time she will retire after almost four decades with Big Blue, the company said. Ms. Rometty has been one of the most high-profile female CEOs in business, where the top ranks are still male dominated.
IBM shares rose more than 3% in aftermarket trading following the announcement.
The new leadership appointments highlight how IBM is betting its future on the booming cloud-computing field, where it has lagged behind rivals such as Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. IBM built its success on providing technology to other companies. But IBM was slow to adapt as corporations shifted from storing data on big servers they owned to renting that computing capacity from service providers, so-called cloud-computing.
Ms. Rometty in recent years has emphasized IBM would become a forceful competitor in cloud-computing, but Big Blue still trails its main rivals in cloud sales. IBM is the fifth-largest public cloud infrastructure provider, according to research firm Gartner Inc., with less than 2% market share.
Ms. Rometty has tried to jump-start cloud growth, largely with the Red Hat, the largest acquisition in IBM's 108-year history. The deal closed last year.
Write to Kimberly Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 30, 2020 17:43 ET (22:43 GMT)
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