back to article Gin and gone-ic: Rometty out as IBM CEO, cloud supremo Arvind Krishna takes over, Red Hat boss is president

In a surprise announcement on Thursday, IBM named a new CEO, Arvind Krishna. Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, who has led the company since 2012, will step down on April 6 to serve as executive chairman of the board until her retirement at the end of the year. "Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM," said Rometty in a …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Rainer

      They could solve a lot of money by paying the execs with local contracts, that's for sure ;-)

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      need 10 Indian CEO's to be as smart or productive as an American

      Either failed irony or the stupidest thing I ever heard.

    3. jgarbo Bronze badge
      Boffin

      It's not Bombay, ignorant racist. It's Mumbai...

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Pint

        Please do let me know if you ever come across a knowledgeable racist, I am not young for our species, have seen a great many, all without exception ignorant.

        Icon: Enjoying a well deserved pint coz it's Friday and life's too short.

    4. Noonoot

      CEO or scammers

      It's either the first or the latter (irony folks, irony)

  2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

    > played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as

    > artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.

    Doomed.

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge

      it's messaging to investors, of course it needs to be buzzword compliant

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Investors got the message a long time ago: "share price declined about 26 per cent while the S&P 500 surged 160 per cent and the NASDAQ Composite Index rose 257 per cent".

        It seems to have been the board that wasn't getting messages.

        1. theblackhand Silver badge
  3. spold Silver badge

    Misquoted...

    I think she said he was the most Artifically Intelligent person with his head in the clouds....

    But hey... it's got to be better eh?

    1. spold Silver badge

      Re: Misquoted...

      pssst. She probably got the best payout of anyone RA'd in IBM recently

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Misquoted...

        If not, do you reckon Ms Rometty will be filing an age discrimination lawsuit?

  4. astounded1

    The Free-Fall Continues...

    Writing from direct experience here, IBM's "cloud business" is IBM sending IBM customers to Azure. They are re-branding old, functionally obsolete products as cloud. A complete fiction. The only truly intelligent business thing that is happening there is that they have turned shareholders into robots that think what is happening is OK, OK, OK, OK...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Free-Fall Continues...

      yep, mainfame is counted as "cloud" revenue now, redhat is counted as "cloud" revenue now, pretty much everything they used to sell, has now been re-classified as cloud or AI in some unconvincing ploy to make shareholders think they are growing those "strategic imperatives" buzz word that Ginni came up with.

      Anyone remember Softlayer? Nothing but an entry in history books now. IBM couldn't sell cloud if their life depended on it!

      As for Watson, even those suckers who bought into it, have realised now it was a sham.

      Indian Bumbling Mumblings, your time on this planet is almost up! Good Riddance too!

      1. Androgynous Cow Herd

        Re: The Free-Fall Continues...

        Anyone remember Softlayer?

        lol..you mean Cleversafe? or Cloud Object Storage (or COS as the kool kids call it) or whatever it is currently branded?

        I changed the logos on the same slide deck Sooooo many times...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The Free-Fall Continues...

      Well, the RH guy might have a different take on cloud and kubernetes and OTHER such things, using Red Hat solutions [let's say] for PRIVATE cloudiness.

      My personal opinion: public clouds are subject to many problems, like widespread outages. A private cloud with a public fallback seems a LOT more reasonable to me, and would likely be more cost-effective as well. hard drives are cheap, hardWARE is cheap [for that matter[, and running Linux gives them ALL of the advantages.

      THAT is the kind of cloud solution that IBM could focus on, and I bet it would work. Outsource to Azure? Not so much, really.

  5. whitepines Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Will anything change?

    Good! Now maybe IBM can remember it is a hardware company that really hates to spend money on software, hence all the offshoring to cheap places of the world.

    played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.

    Oh. Never mind then.

    1. WallMeerkat

      Re: Will anything change?

      Their hardware is now Lenovo

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will anything change?

      "Good! Now maybe IBM can remember it is a hardware company that really hates to spend money on software, hence all the offshoring to cheap places of the world."

      LOL...IBM is a financial services company and has been for the best part of 30 years. Hardware and software are hard so it leases equipment and uses outsourcing to strip customers of the knowledge to use non-IBM solutions.

  6. vaporland

    It's hard to believe that...

    I.B.M. once earned 70% of all revenue in information technology. System/360 and especially System/370 dominated business IT and laid waste to the competition.

    How far the mighty have fallen.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's hard to believe that...

      Ah, but with the PC they also put themselves in charge of the next big thing in computing and that went very ... oh, they bungled that one too.

      1. vaporland

        Re: It's hard to believe that...

        Bill Gates outsmarted them when he licensed MS DOS to I.B.M. instead of outright selling it to them.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: It's hard to believe that...

        Actually IBM bungled OS/2 and PS/2, by tying them too closely together.

        Nobody wanted to shell out $3k for a computer just to run OS/2, no matter HOW good it was. The PS/2's hardware was proprietary, on top of that. 386 and then 486 clones destroyed the PS/2 by dominating its market, and the OS/2 connection along with it. And Windows 3 (which was ALSO 3D Skeuomorphic like OS/2 1.2, unlike previous versions of both) rapidly outsold OS/2 and made GUI desktops "the norm", NOT requring a PS/2.

        THAT is where IBM blew it. They've never really recovered...

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: It's hard to believe that...

          Have to agree with bob here regarding the PS/2, or more specifically the MCA. Trying to use it to kill the clone market was a bad move. IBM eventually clawed back some of the PC market with Thinkpads and its PCI-bus server offerings but never came close to recovering its former position, and MCA turned out to be just an expensive adventure.

          However, even in the PS/2 era IBM had a lot going for it, with three strong non-PC system families (RS/6000, AS/400, and ES/9000) and a research organization that was still among the best in the world. The rise of Linux, and to some extent Windows Server, gutted all the private UNIXes, but POWER (these days the p line) survived better than most. AS/400-then-i has been a cash cow for decades; it was just the right incremental evolution of S/38 to keep that market, and the move in CPU architectures was handled smoothly.

          And while It's impossible to completely stem the tide of 370-family (ES/9000 through today's z) defectors to Windows and Linux (something I have personally contributed to, so this is of interest to me), IBM has worked hard at updating mainframe hardware and software with improved performance and new features to keep many of those customers coming back. They're very good at finding out what will convince people to renew those leases, whether it's building REST web service support into CICS or adding "pervasive encryption" to zOS.

          I agree with the poster above that what's really hurt IBM is the short-term thinking of the past couple of decades, with massive "returns of value" to shareholders backed by ruthless cost-cutting and deskilling.

        2. yoganmahew

          Re: It's hard to believe that...

          @Bob

          They blew it similarly in the mainframe market. Overcharging license costs, slow and underfunded software capabilities and OS expansion. Products like CICS, TPF, even MQ are milked for all their worth. They are sadly end of life. There may be some twitching, but alternatives exist and if, as an enterprise, you have to re-engineer to reduce cost, you might as well re-engineer onto a different platform.

  7. ToddRundgrensUtopia

    Perhaps she could move in with Whitman and they can bake cookies together?

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Joke

      No, Whitman has too much Autonomy for Ginny

    2. RichMitchell

      No, Carly Fiorina, the only female major company CEO that was worse than Ginny. Carly hosed HP way before Meg got there.

      1. Peter-Waterman1

        Sexist

        Seriously sexist comments here. No wonder we have an issue with attracting women into IT

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Sexist

          how is this sexist? Both of those CEOs (Meg, Carly) didn't do a very good job. Both also became politicians, and didn't do THAT very well, either.

          However, I *might* consider that they were hired to make the "diversity" crowd happy... so when you 'cater to the left', you reap the 'rewards'! For good or ill. In these cases (apparently), 'ill'.

  8. MrKrotos

    "IBM has such talented people and technology"

    Let me correct that for you...

    "IBM used to have such talented people and technology"

    1. Jesper Frimann

      Re: "IBM has such talented people and technology"

      The people I know who still works there, put it in other words:

      "IBM used to have such talented Tech people and technology"

      I think they have talented people, but a different type of people. People who aren't talented in IT.

      // Jesper

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    BBB

    Big Blue's Ballmer

    Were there any flying chairs during her tenure?

  10. macjules Silver badge
    Coat

    No mention of choppers?

    C'mon El reg you can do better. We need more jokes about how her successor was helicoptered into her position and how Ginny was put on the chopper block.

    Honestly, the standard of comic journalism has really declined.

    1. WallMeerkat
      Black Helicopters

      Re: No mention of choppers?

      Being helicoptered in, then axing travel for most employees?

    2. spold Silver badge

      Re: No mention of choppers?

      Ginny in the binny... Krishna now My Sweet Lord?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No mention of choppers?

        Definitely not Hairy Krishna...

  11. ITAMRocks

    For all of Big Tech's many faults in relation to diversity we now have IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, & Google run by CEOs of Indian heritage. Had Larry not swung the axe we could easily have seen Kurian at Big Red too. That's pretty remarkable.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      I'd rather have an Indian running my company than a cowboy like Tim Cook.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      also NVIDIA, AMD and Broadcom have Chinese CEOs

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Chinese companies have Chinese CEOs shock

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6%

    A six percent share price increase when you announce your departure is quite some achievement.

    One day I hope to be as good a manager as that. <snark>

  13. adam payne Silver badge

    IBM credits Rometty with overseeing the acquisition of 65 companies and developing its $21bn hybrid cloud businesses....blah blah blah

    She is also uncredited for one of the biggest PR disasters ever.

  14. Robert Halloran

    Rometti dropped big bucks to bring in Red Hat, whose cloud products are actually selling. Now Whitehurst is named company president. They probably couldn't hand him the reins so soon after the acquisition without the old-timers' shorts getting bunched, but they're clearly marking him as the next chief exec near-term.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Joke

    Now, is she a gin or rom girl, what do you think ?

  17. Jesper Frimann
    Linux

    Only problem with the oldtimers they fired

    is that most of them now work for IBM's clients. Or in many cases their former clients.

    // Jesper

  18. spold Silver badge

    Hurrah!

    Time to sing the company Song! <--Clicky

    Ever Downward lol.

  19. Do Not Fold Spindle Mutilate
    Alien

    Did the desire to hire Arvind Krishna cause IBM to buy Red Hat?

    Which came first? Did they know of Krishna and wanted to find out more about how he runs a company or did they buy Red Hat then found a replacement for the CEO? Was buying Red Hat part of the hiring negotiation? "If you want me, you have to buy Red Hat." or was the purchase of Red Hat completely and separately done from the hiring of a new ceo?

    I've been away from mainframes for about three decades so sorry if this question is not good. But does IBM actually design and manufacture its own hardware or is IBM mainly a software / services company?

    1. Jay Lenovo
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Did the desire to hire Arvind Krishna cause IBM to buy Red Hat?

      The substance of what they sell is primarily high margin service promises and stagnant stock value.

      Products such as hardware based ones, used to be a priority, but the their profitability haven't been profitable enough to justify the stock expectations. They've maintained a growth model of self-consumption until they find something with better margins to sell.

      Today the growth model has consumed Ginny. Arvind now gets the privilege of attempting better.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Did the desire to hire Arvind Krishna cause IBM to buy Red Hat?

      I think Krishna is an IBM lifer. It was he who was largely responsible for them buying Red Hat.

  20. Alister Silver badge

    @Do Not Fold Spindle Mutilate

    But does IBM actually design and manufacture its own hardware or is IBM mainly a software / services company?

    May I refer the honourable gentleman to the passage quoted earlier:

    our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.

    Does that answer your question?

  21. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Doesn't fix the real problem

    Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic does not solve the problem. The Morons only have a couple of relevant products among the sewage. Probably their best product is Red Hat.

    Ginnie was a worthless leader with no clue (see stock price performance) and I have my doubts about the new dismal leader as he looks to be an internal hire not an outsider who might be competent.

  22. Woodnag

    Some interesting analysis from The Cringe:

    https://www.cringely.com/2020/01/31/predictions-for-2020-ibm-and-trump/

  23. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Evil Empire

    Microsoft has always followed directly in IBM's footsteps, with perhaps a 20 year delay. So the sooner IBM goes out of business...

  24. David Murphy

    Amazed she lasted this long

    She was cost-cutter in chief, and then got the CEO post.

    Amazed she lasted this long with so many losing quarters.

  25. Howard Hanek
    Happy

    IBMs Munchkin Land

    Are the Munchkins celebrating? How flat did the house falling on her make Rommety? Is Krishna wearing the ruby slippers in the spirit of diversity....or just old fashioned perversity? Did the house fall from the CLOUD?

  26. fredesmite Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    No one else her age is employed at IBM anymore ..

    So why is she so "special " ?

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: No one else her age is employed at IBM anymore ..

      @fredesmite "why is she so special"

      It's pretty special that a 62 year old can wield and axe all day long and never tire.

  27. A random security guy

    Cargo cult science.

    just copying Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc.

    next they will come out with a smart phone.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Cargo cult science.

      They already did that, in 1994.

  28. fredesmite Bronze badge
    Happy

    She can join the law suit for being pink slipped

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/09/23/ginni_rometty_ibm_email_age_discrimination/

  29. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Under a Cloud

    IBM needs to come out from under a Cloud.

    So they put a Cloud supremo in charge!

  30. quite_remarkable

    Farewell Baron Silas Greenback

  31. fredesmite Bronze badge
    WTF?

    He is too old to work there too

    Krishna, age 57

    I thought IBM got rid of anyone over 40 .

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