Who’s Arvind Krishna? Everything you need to know about IBM’s new CEO

IBM executive Arvind Krishna. 5/30/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

IBM has announced that Virginia Rometty will be stepping down as the company’s CEO and will become executive chairman before she retires at the end of the year. Her replacement, 57-year-old Arvind Krishna will take over as the IBM’s (International Business Machines Corporation) CEO in April 2020. After Google, Microsoft and Adobe, Krishna will become the fourth Indian origin CEO of a major US technology giant. 

  • Krishna will take over the reins from Rometty after a long succession process that began almost a year ago. 
  • He started his career with IBM in 1990 and has an undergraduate degree from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Kanpur along with a PhD from the University of Illinois. 
  • Krishna completed his schooling from St Joseph’s Academy in Dehradun.
  • He is also the co-author of 15 patents and has been published extensively in technical conferences and journals. 
  • He served as senior vice president, Cloud and Cognitive Software and has held a series of research and management roles. 
  • Notably, Krishna was the chief architect in IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, an open-source software provider for enterprise solutions. The merger will see Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst become IBM’s new president. 
  • As vice president, Cloud and Cognitive software, Krishna leads his department’s strategy, product design, development, sales and services. 
  • Part of his job is to guide IBM’s overall strategy in AI (Artificial Intelligence), quantum computing, blockchain, cloud and nanotechnology. 
  • Before his appointment as senior vice president, Krishna served as general manager of IBM’s information management which included big data software solutions. He spearheaded IBM’s security software business portfolio.  
  • IBM’s shares were up 4% in extended trading following the new CEO’s announcement.
  • Traditionally, IBM hasn’t had a separate president and Krishna’s tenure is seen as a transitional one with former Red Hat CEO Whitehurst primed to take over for a longer-term.