Virginia Rometty (July 29, 1957) is an American business executive who was executive chairman of IBM after stepping down as CEO on April 1, 2020. She was previously chairman, president and CEO of IBM, becoming the first woman to head the company. She retired from IBM on December 31, 2020, after a near-40 year career there. Before 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.

Ginni Rometty in 2011

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. As CEO, she focused IBM on analytics, cloud computing, and cognitive computing systems.

Rometty's tenure as IBM's CEO was marked by awards including by Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential People in the World, Fortune's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business", Time's 20 Most Important People in Tech and Forbes America's Top 50 Women In Tech. Her tenure was also met by fierce criticism relating to executive compensation bonuses, layoffs, outsourcing, and presiding over 24 consecutive quarters of revenue decline.

Quotes

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  • That’s what my journey taught me, that I could do really meaningful things in a positive way—so that the ‘how’ it was done was maybe even more important than the ‘what’.
  • At a really early age, I started to learn by watching that aptitude and access are two different things. My mom wasn’t dumb—she was smart, but she didn’t have access to things for most of her life. With a little bit of access to education, she changed her circumstances.
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