Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Virginia Rometty

Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty (born July 1957 or 1958) is an American business executive; the president and CEO of IBM. She is the first woman to head IBM. Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012 she held the position of Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing, and Strategy at IBM. She has been named to Fortunemagazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for seven consecutive years, ranking #7 for 2011. She was also named to the Time 100 in 2012.

Rometty graduated from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in 1979 with high honors, receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering.

After graduation in 1979, Rometty went to work for General Motors Institute; in 1981, she joined IBM as a systems engineerin its Detroit office. She joined IBM’s Consulting Group in 1991. In 2002, she “championed the purchase of the big business consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, for $3.5 billion.” Rometty became senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy in 2009. Rometty is “credited with spearheading IBM’s growth strategy by getting the company into the cloud computing and analytics businesses. She was also at the helm of readying Watson, the Jeopardy! playing computer, for commercial use.” On October 25, 2011, IBM announced that she was to be the company’s next president and CEO, with Sam Palmisano stepping down but retaining his position as chairman. Rometty’s appointment marks the first time a woman has been CEO of IBM. Regarding her promotion, Palmisano stated, “Ginni got it because she deserved it… It’s got zero to do with progressive social policies.”

Rometty is on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater Northwestern University, as well as on the Board of Overseers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. and on The Deming Cup‘s committee at Columbia Business School, which recognizes individuals for operational excellence. She also served on the Board of Directors of AIG from 2006 until 2009.

Rometty is married to Mark Anthony Rometty.

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