In a surprise move, IBM announced today that Jim Whitehurst, who became IBM president 14 months ago after IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat, has stepped down. No successor was named.

photo of jim whitehurst
Jim Whitehurst

Whitehurst, who was formerly the president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, will remain as a senior advisor to IBM chief executive officer Arvind Krishna and the executive team.

Bridget van Kralingen, formerly senior vice president, global markets, will become SVP, special projects for a year and then plans to retire. Rob Thomas, who has had leadership roles in several areas of IBM including data and AI, hardware, services, and software, will replace her as SVP, global markets.

photo of arvind krishna
IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna.

His departure was revealed in a post by Krishna that also laid out a series of other leadership changes, all effective immediately.

Tom Rosamilia, who has been leading IBM’s systems business, becomes SVP, cloud and cognitive software. Replacing him as SVP of systems is Ric Lewis, former SVP and general manager of the software-defined and cloud group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Finally, Kelly Chambliss was promoted to SVP, Americas and strategic sales, global business services to lead global strategic sales and continue her leadership of IBM’s Americas business, and Roger Premo will lead a new business development team under SVP and chief financial officer Jim Kavanaugh.

Krishna said that Bob Lord will continue as SVP, worldwide ecosystems.


IBM acquires Red Hat in ‘largest software acquisition ever’ for $34 billion

Ginni Rometty out as IBM CEO, Arvind Krishna steps in

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