It was big news when International Business Machine Corp. (NYSE: IBM) first reported that Virginia Rometty would take over as chief executive officer. It was not just that CEO Sam Palmisano was a Big Blue legend, but it was big news because a woman was taking over as CEO in one of the world’s top technology outfits.
Now Ms. Rometty will be taking over Palmisano’s role as chairman in addition to her CEO title. She has been CEO since the start of this year and Palmisano’s date to step down from the board is October 1 even though he will remain a senior advisor there at IBM until his official retirement date of December 1.
Palmisano was credited with the decision to dump the PC-unit in a sale to Lenovo and that was long before Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) started on taking significant market share from PCs. Palmisano saw that the fight between Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) was only going to get worse as the marketplace also has to deal with Acer and others.
It will be very difficult to compare the next ten years to the prior ten years as IBM’s market cap is now $234 billion. The company is still buying back stock, increasing its dividend, and is still targeting $20.00 per share in earnings in 2015.
In the coming days, Rometty will be running the whole show at IBM.
JON C. OGG