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Virginia Rometty Biography
Virginia Rometty is an American business executive. She is the current chair, president and CEO of IBM and the first woman to head the company.
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. When she was 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. Since becoming CEO, she has focused IBM on analytics, cloud computing, and cognitive computing systems.
Her tenure as IBM’s CEO has been marked by noteworthy 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 has also been met by fierce criticism relating to executive compensation bonuses, layoffs, outsourcing and presiding over 24 consecutive quarters of revenue decline.
Virginia Rometty Age
Rometty was born on July 29, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.. She is aged 62 years as of 2019.
Virginia Rometty Net Worth
The American business executive has a net worth of 90 million US dollars.
Virginia Rometty Husband and Personal Life
She is married to Mark Anthony Rometty, a private-equity investor. The two tied the knot in 1979. They have no children. The couple divides their time between New York and Bonita Springs, Florida. Rometty goes to Broadway shows and participates in scuba diving as a hobby. Rometty in 2014 became the third female member of the Augusta National Golf Club, following the lead of Condoleezza Rice.
Virginia Rometty Early Life and Education
She was born on July 29, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois as Virginia Marie Nicosia. She grew up outside Chicago and is the eldest of four children in an Italian-American family. Her parents divorced and her father left when she was fifteen years old. Her mother subsequently took on multiple jobs to support the family while Rometty looked after the household in the evenings.
Rometty began attending Northwestern University in Illinois in 1975 on a scholarship from General Motors, where she interned between her junior and senior years. She was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, eventually serving as its president. Rometty graduated with high honors from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in 1979 receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering.
Rometty has received honorary doctoral degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2014) and Northwestern University (2015).
Virginia Rometty Career
1979–1990s: GM and IBM technical positions
Upon her graduation in 1979, Rometty went to work for General Motors Institute in Detroit where she was responsible for application and systems development. She joined IBM as a systems analyst and systems engineer in Detroit in 1981. Initially working with clients in the insurance industry, she spent her first ten years at IBM in technical positions.
New York Times writes that she “quickly moved up to a series of management jobs,” where she worked with clients in insurance, banking, telecommunications, manufacturing and health care. Rometty spent the 1990s working in sales and by the late 1990s was helping clients such as Prudential Financial, Inc. with their internet features. Rometty joined IBM’s Consulting Group in 1991.
2000–2011: IBM management
When she was general manager of IBM’s global services division in 2002, she championed and helped negotiate the purchase of the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for $3.5 billion. That acquisition was the “largest in professional services history” and launched IBM in the services business. When she was serving as senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, Rometty then received her “big break” at IBM when she was given the task of integrating PricewaterhouseCoopers and its consultants with IBM.
Time named her to its 2002 Global Business Influential list in 2002. Since 2005 until 2009 she was the senior vice president of Global Business Services at IBM and she also became senior vice president of Enterprise Business Services-IBM Global Services in July 2005.
2012–present: CEO of IBM
IBM announced that she was to be the company’s next president and CEO on October 25, 2011. She became the ninth chief executive in its history. Rometty’s role as IBM’s first female chief received note in the press, with former CEO Sam Palmisano responding that her selection had “zero to do with progressive social policies.” Rometty became chief executive and president on January 1, 2012, also taking on the additional role of IBM chairperson on October 1, 2012 when Palmisano retired.
With plans to take IBM out of unprofitable business lines and citing big data and analytics as IBM’s “next big growth machine,” in 2014 she brokered a partnership for Apple to design applications for IBM’s enterprise customers. That year she announced that IBM would partner with SAP on cloud computing and with Twitter on data analytics, and in 2015 she also brokered a partnership with Box.
She had IBM spend $8.5 billion acquiring around 30 companies between 2012 and 2015 and by 2016 she had overseen the divestment of about $7 billion in commoditized assets such as chip manufacturing.
Virginia Rometty Boards and Committee
Apart from being a director at IBM since 2012, she has also been involved in IBM organizations such as its Women in Technology Council, Women’s Executive Council and Women’s Leadership Council. She was a former director at APQC and also served on the board of directors of AIG from 2006 until 2009. Rometty remains on the board of overseers and board of managers for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and since 2013 she has been a council member at the Latin America Conservation Council.
She serves on the Council on Foreign Relations and is also on the board of trustees of her alma mater Northwestern University, where she was commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2015. Rometty was a member of the White House’s Business Advisory Panel for much of 2017, before the panel dissolved itself that August. She co-chaired WEF Davos in November 2017.
Virginia Rometty Industry Reception
Her tenure as IBM CEO has been marked by prestigious rankings, including by Bloomberg, who named her among the 50 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Rometty was also named to the Time 100 list in 2012 and in 2014 Rometty was featured in the PBS documentary The Boomer List. From 2005 she has been listed among Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” ranking in the top 10 since 2010.
Upon ranking No. 7 in 2011, she ranked No. 1 from 2012 until 2014, No. 3 in 2015, No. 4 in 2016, and No. 7 in 2017. Rometty was named to Forbes magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful People” in 2014 and she also ranked No. 11 on the 2016 Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. That following year she ranked No. 10 and was named the sixth most important person in tech by TIME magazine in March 2018.
Her tenure as CEO has met with criticism as well and by 2016 she had been named among the worst CEOs by publications including the Motley Fool, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and 24/7 Wallstreet. Rometty was criticized by investors for 22 consecutive quarters of revenue decline between 2012 and the summer of 2017 and by IBM employees for accepting pay bonuses during times of layoffs and outsourcing.