Woman to Head IBM and No One Mentions It

"Virginia Rometty"

Virginia Rometty

Dow Jones reported late yesterday afternoon that Virginia M. Rometty will become IBM’s new president and chief executive. History was made because the Dow Jones article did not mention her gender. No headline that a woman is taking the reins. Just a straightforward story. Oh, have we come a long way, baby.

I just had to write about this because it’s so significant for the women who were the pioneers in establishing equality for women in the workplace. It took a long time but a woman CEO is no longer considered unusual. There still aren’t enough of them. This condensed Dow Jones article is another sign that it isn’t unusual for a highly-capable woman to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company without it being a big deal. Whoopee!


International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) tapped company executive Virginia M. Rometty as its new president and chief executive, electing a company insider who was long seen as a front-runner to succeed current chairman and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano.

On Tuesday, the blue-chip company said Palmisano will step down from the helm of the company but keep his seat as chairman. Palmisano, 60 years old, became IBM’s chief executive in 2002 and chairman in 2003. Palmisano helped transform IBM by easing focus off hardware and shifting toward software and services.

Rometty, 54, who will take her post at the start of next year, is now IBM’s senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy. Before running sales, she served as senior vice president of IBM Global Services and helped lead the unit’s integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting.

Congratulations, Virginia! Give ’em hell!!

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  1. I had heard that she got the post yesterday and it didn’t seem unusual at all to me that they should choose a woman. HP had a woman at the helm and they seemed to do just fine. I am sure she will be great too.

    • Good to hear from you, Brian. I’m glad you thought it was just a routine announcement (of course, a new CEO of IBM, man or woman isn’t routine). Missed you in the Bloggers LinkedIn Group.

    • Dennis, the very fact that it is news to you means that the announcement stirred little interest — at least about the new CEO being a woman. That was my point. Yeh!