the market maker
Photo courtesy of IBM
Ginni Rometty is president and CEO of IBM—the first woman in the company’s history to hold these positions. If that isn’t impressive enough, on October 1, the 53-year-old Rometty was also named chairman of the board of IBM—a company that, according to Fortune, is the second largest US firm when it comes to people (433,362 employees), the fourth largest in terms of market capitalization ($241.3 billion), and the 19th largest in revenue ($107 billion).
The business world has certainly noticed Rometty’s ascendency. She was named the No. 1 most powerful woman in business in the US in 2012 by Fortune, and came in at No. 15 on Forbes’s list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She took the top job in January of this year, but Rometty has been with IBM, headquartered in Armonk, for more than 30 years, starting out with the company in Detroit right after she received her bachelor of science degree from Northwestern University.
Before her appointment as president and CEO, she held the position of senior vice president and group executive of IBM sales, marketing, and strategy. She was responsible for revenue, profits, and client satisfaction in IBM’s 170 global markets, as well as IBM’s worldwide results—which exceeded $99 billion in revenue in 2010. It was in this role that she established IBM’s Growth Markets organization, which is expected to contribute as much as 30 percent to IBM’s total revenue by 2015.
Rometty also served as the senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, where she led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, the largest acquisition in professional services history. This integration created a global team of more than 100,000 business consultants and service experts.
She is adamant that the way to succeed and grow is by creating new markets—and she has—in China, Brazil, and India.