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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty retiring after nearly 40 years with tech giant

ARMONK, N.Y. - IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty is stepping down after nearly 40 years with the computing giant and eight years at its helm.

The company said Thursday that Arvind Krishna will take over as CEO starting April 6. Krishna has been IBM's senior vice president for cloud computing and cognitive software and also has a long career at the company.

IBM has been trying to revitalize its business to become a leader in cloud technology. Cloud computing, in which services are delivered over the internet from remote computers, has become a growing portion of IBM's revenue. But the company has been overshadowed by top cloud rivals Amazon, Microsoft and Google in competing to sell its internet-based computing services to businesses.

IBM shares have risen a modest 1.8% over the last year.

IBM CEO on "new collar" skills and AI 05:15

In a risky effort to catch up to the competition, IBM announced in 2018 that it planned to spend $34 billion to buy North Carolina-based software company Red Hat. It was the biggest acquisition in IBM's century-long history — one which the company says Krishna was a "principal architect" in making happen.

Rometty, 62, was named chairman, president and CEO of IBM in 2012. She will remain executive chair until the end of the year. 

"Ginni has provided outstanding leadership for IBM, substantially transforming the company and ushering in a new cloud and cognitive era," said IBM boardmember Michael Eskew said in a statement. "She has taken bold strategic actions to reposition IBM for the future, shedding businesses and growing new units organically and through acquisition, all while achieving record diversity and employee engagement and setting the industry standard for responsible technology ethics and data stewardship." 

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