IBM has named Virginia Rometty president and CEO, effective January 1, 2012. She will be the first female chief executive in the company's history.
Rometty currently serves as SVP and group executive for sales, marketing, and strategy at IBM. She has worked at the company since 1981 when she joined as a systems engineer. In her new role, Rometty will replace Samuel Palmisano, who will remain chairman of the board. She was also named to the company's board of directors.
In her new role, Rometty joins corporate America's small group of female chief executives, which includes Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard, Ursula Burns of Xerox, and Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo.
In an interview with The New York Times, Palmisano said gender was not a factor in the board's decision to name Rometty CEO.