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Virginia M. Rometty 1957 - 2012- -


 IBM CEOs: Leadership ⇔ Challenges ⇔ Transformations in the IT Century

Virginia M. Rometty 1957 - 2012- -
(Highlights – Milestones – Excerpts)

ARMONK, N.Y. - 25 Oct 2011: The IBM board of directors has elected Virginia M. Rometty president and chief executive officer of the company, effective January 1, 2012. She was also elected a member of the board of directors, effective at that time. Ms. Rometty is currently IBM senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy. She succeeds Samuel J. Palmisano, who currently is IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. Mr. Palmisano will remain chairman of the board. “Ginni Rometty has successfully led several of IBM’s most important businesses over the past decade – from the formation of IBM Global Business Services to the build-out of our Growth Markets." “Ginni Rometty has successfully led several of IBM’s most important businesses over the past decade – from the formation of IBM Global Business Services to the build-out of our Growth Markets Unit,” Mr. Palmisano said. “But she is more than a superb operational executive. With every leadership role, she has strengthened our ability to integrate IBM’s capabilities for our clients. She has spurred us to keep pace with the needs and aspirations of our clients by deepening our expertise and industry knowledge. Ginni’s long-term strategic thinking and client focus are seen in our growth initiatives, from cloud computing and analytics to the commercialization of Watson. She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company’s future. I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century.”

How much computing is in the world? In the early 2000s, most regions of the world were spending between 5 and 7% of the GDP on various information technologies (IT). In 2011, the world’s GDP was $65.6 trillion of which $3.9 trillion went to IT - a massive quantity by any measure. Even that number is low because IT industry associations place 2011’s total IT expenditure at $4.4 trillion. (“The Digital Flood – The diffusion of information technology across the U.S., Europe, and Asia” by James W. Cortada published in 2012). IBM is currently the global leader in the $790 billion information technology (IT) services industry. (“The IBM Century - Creating the IT Revolution - Edited by Jeffrey R. Yost” published in 2011, p. 2.) IBM is also the leader of the more than $230 billion (2010) US IT consulting industry. IBIS World, IT Consulting, US Industry Report, 11 May

Rometty Kicks Off 2012 With Leadership Team Changes. Published: January 9, 2012  by Jenny Thomas. The first order of business was to replace herself as the general manager of IBM's sales and marketing group. Bruno Di Leo, becomes senior vice president, sales and distribution. Di Leo most recently served as the general manager for IBM's Growth Markets Unit, which increased revenues 19 percent last year, with 40 countries growing by double digits. Di Leo began his career at IBM in 1975 as a software engineer, and he has held several leadership roles around the globe, including assignments as general manager for IBM in Northeast Europe and general manager for the company's Latin American operations. Frank Kern, who announced he is retiring at the end of January after 35 years with IBM. Kern, who ran IBM's Global Business Services division, which represents about a third of the Global Services group at the company, was a possible contender for the CEO position that eventually went to Rometty and he choose to leave in hopes of landing a CEO gig outside of Big Blue. Rometty tapped Bridget van Kralingen to replace Kern, and van Kralingen is now the senior vice president in charge of the Global Business Services division. Van Kralingen spent 15 years with Deloitte Consulting in South Africa before joining IBM in 2004. She has run the financial services segment for IBM's GBS division in North America, as well as all of GBS in Northeast Europe, and most recently was charged with sales for all of North America for Big Blue. Rometty has already outlined her goals for adding $20 billion in new revenue by 2015, which she intends to do by expanding into emerging markets including cloud computing and analytics. To that end, Rometty has created the position of senior vice president for IBM's Growth Markets Unit, and chosen James Bramante to fill that role. Bramante will be based in Shanghai and report to Di Leo. Bramante was CFO at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting when IBM acquired it for $3.5 billion in July 2002, and most recently was the leader of IBM's consulting services in the United States and Canada.

IBM Doubles its Presence in Russia and CIS Opening 10 New Branches. Part of a $6 million investment to capture Russian regional growth opportunity in 2012. MOSCOW, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM has announced the opening of 10 new branch offices across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as part of a major initiative to capture regional business growth and increase its presence in the fastest growing markets in the world.

June 27, 2012. IBM Opens 50th Branch Office in China. New branches in cities of Yantai and Yinchuan - two of 20 offices opened by IBM in China in past 12 months. 

IBM to invest in Kenya research laboratory. August 14, 2012 by Andrew Bowman. A memorandum of understanding was signed at a ceremony in Nairobi by IBM Global Chief Executive Officer, Ginni Rometty, and Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki, who claimed the scheme would make Kenya an “IT leader on the African continent”. With an annual research budget of $6.5bn, IBM runs similar research facilities in 11 other countries, but this is the first in Africa. The company began operating Kenya in 1958.

IBM’s official announcement.  “-Virginia M. Rometty Elected IBM Chairman ARMONK, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The IBM (IBM) board of directors today elected Virginia M. Rometty chairman of the board, effective October 1, 2012. Mrs. Rometty succeeds Samuel J. Palmisano, who is stepping down from the board effective October 1, 2012. Mr. Palmisano will become Senior Adviser to the company until he retires on December 1, 2012. As of October 1, 2012, Mrs. Rometty’s title will be IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. Mrs. Rometty, 55, is currently IBM’s president and chief executive officer. She succeeded Mr. Palmisano as IBM’s ninth CEO in January of this year, after holding senior leadership positions in IBM’s services, sales, strategy and marketing units. Mrs. Rometty led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting — the largest acquisition in professional services history, building a team of more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts. She became a director of IBM in January. Mr. Palmisano, 61, became IBM chief executive officer in 2002 and chairman of the board in 2003. During his tenure, IBM transformed its product and services portfolio, exiting commoditizing businesses, including PCs, printers and hard disk drives, and greatly increasing investments in analytics, cloud computing and other high-value businesses and technologies. He has overseen the transformation of IBM from a multinational into a globally integrated enterprise. During Mr. Palmisano’s tenure as CEO, IBM created over $100 billion of total shareholder value.” September 25, 2012

Fortune's Most Powerful Woman Shares Her Leadership Philosophy Max Nisen, Oct. 3, 2012. One of the keynote interviews at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit was with Virginia Rometty, IBM's CEO and the woman at the top of that list. A CEO's most important job is looking out for the long term and reinventing their company as the world changes. Rometty told Time Inc. Editor In Chief John Huey that she thinks that the most important part of accomplishing that won't be a strategy or plan, but what she calls 'strategic belief.' Here's how she describes the concept: "...in a nutshell, you know, clients would often say to me, "What's your strategy?" And I would say, "Ask me what I believe first, that's a way more enduring answer." And in the world you and I live in now where everything's changing so quickly, you can't predict everything, and — and this is probably the most important "and" — and most of us have workforces that are very bright, very intelligent, that want to be engaged in a broad way. This idea of a strategic belief is saying that you can agree amongst the firm for the future, on some really big arcs of change, I would call them." The benefit of hiring and promoting great people is what they add to a strategy or plan. They don't necessarily want or need every point spelled out for them. The example Rometty gives is her belief that the era of cognitive computing, where computers start to learn rather than just being programmed, is starting. That's something that will completely change IBM, and it's essential that the company follow that long term 'directional arc.' Strategic belief is something people can latch on to and use for motivation. It can lead to a workforce that reacts to changes, provides great input, and channels their energy in the right direction. A plan can be well thought-out, intensely researched, and minutely detailed, but in an increasingly volatile world, that isn't enough.

In a symbolic shift, IBM's India workforce likely exceeds U.S. IT salaries in India for all firms close to minimum wage in America By Patrick Thibodeau November 29, 2012. The last time that IBM made a public statement about its U.S. workforce was in congressional testimony in the fall of 2009, when it put its U.S. workforce at 105,000. It was at 121,000 at the end of 2007, and more in previous years. At the time that IBM stopped reporting its U.S. headcount, it was beginning to appear that India was on trajectory to surpass its U.S. workforce. According to an internal document obtained by Computerworld, IBM has 112,000 workers in India, up from 6,000 in 2002. IBM won't comment on this document or authenticate it, so this information has an asterisk next to it. The Everest Group said the annual wages generally in India for a software engineer range from $8,000 to $10,000; for a senior software engineer, $12,000 to $15,000, and between $18,000 and $20,000 for a team lead. A project manager may make as much as $31,000.

IBM Annual Report 2012 signed by Virginia M. Rometty. Revenue 2011/2012 in B$: 106.916/104.507; Net income 2011/2012 in B$:15.855/16.604. Employees 2010/2012: 426.751/434.246.   
This performance is a testament to our strategic position and capabilities, the discipline of our management systems, and the dedication and expertise of more than 430.000 IBMers around the world. Earnings per share: Diluted operating earnings per share in 2012 were $15,25, a new record. This marked 10 straight years of double-digit EPS growth. In 2012 we invested $3.7 billion for 11 acquisitions in key areas of software and services; B$4.3 in capital expenditures; and $6.3 billion in R&D. We were able to return $15.8 to you - $12 billion through share repurchases and $3.8 billion through dividends. Last year’s dividend increase was 13 percent, marking the 17th year in a row in which we have raised our dividend, and the 97th consecutive year in which we have paid one. In 2012 IBM earned the most U.S. patents for the 20th straight year, with a total record of 6,478. We are achieving strong results in the world’s growth markets. We opened 144 new branch offices in these markets in 2012. Acquisitions: Since the beginning of 2000, we have acquired more than 140 companies in strategic areas including analytics, cloud, security and Smarter Commerce. Share Repurchase and Dividends: Since 2000, we have returned almost $150 billion to shareholders – paying $26 billion in dividends and reducing the outstanding share count by over 35 percent. Board of Directors and Senior Leadership. 

Jan. 04--BANGALORE -- International Business Machines Corp. ( IBM ), the world's biggest computer services company, named Vanitha Narayanan as the new managing director of its Indian operations on Thursday, making it the second large multinational technology firm to name a woman leader in the country in recent times.

International Business Machines Corp. IBM announced a leadership change in its gargantuan services division, as the company said Senior Vice President and Services head Michael E. Daniels will retire on March 31 after a 36-year career with the technology giant. IBM didn't appoint a new singular head to lead its services division. Instead the company said responsibility for running the group would fall to its two other top executives, Bridget van Kralingen and Erich Clementi. The responsibilities are effective immediately, and both executives will report to IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Virginia M. Rometty, according to a company email. Ms. Kralingen, 49, a rising star who was named senior vice president for IBM Global Business Services in early 2012 in one of Ms. Rometty's first promotions, runs the group responsible for providing consulting services and the development and management of software applications. Mr. Clementi, 54, senior vice president for IBM Global Technology Services, runs the part of the business that handles the outsourcing of technology systems and business functions such as customer relationship management. Before Ms. Rometty was named the new chief executive of IBM in October 2011, Mr. Daniels was one of the leading contenders to take over the company's top job. Over the past few years, Ms. Rometty pulled away from other CEO contenders like Mr. Daniels and software chief Steven A. Mills as she succeeded in a number of high-profile assignments. Ms. Rometty oversaw the successful integration of the consulting arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers and helped IBM grow during a global recession while she ran its sales force. "It is hard to summarize what Mike has meant to our company and to so many clients and IBMers around the world," wrote Ms. Rometty in an email sent to IBM's staff Friday. "Mike is a builder. He helped create our services business, which today generates more than half of IBM's revenue and employs more than half of our global workforce." (The Wall Street Journal, Spencer Ante Jan. 4, 2013).
Daniels ran a business that accounted for about 60 percent of revenue at IBM, the world’s largest provider of computer services. Daniels fired thousands of employees and moved jobs to lower-cost regions such as India to trim expenses and boost profits.

By Sarah Frier - Feb 21, 2013: International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the world’s biggest computer-services provider, will double its investment in mobile technology this year, not including acquisitions it could make in the industry. Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty will move employees and resources to mobile technology as part of the investment, said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice
president of middleware software at IBM. Rometty is prioritizing mobile as much as some of the company’s more high-profile initiatives, like cloud computing and business data analysis, he said. … IBM hopes to more than double its revenue in Africa to $1 billion by 2015, winning contracts for its software and data products.

IBM Chief Rometty Boosts Analytics Sales Goal to $20 Billion. By Sarah Frier - Feb 28, 2013. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the largest technology services provider, said its business-analytics unit will add $4 billion more in revenue than expected. The company raised its goal for annual sales from analyzing business data to $20 billion by 2015, from an earlier $16 billion, Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty told investors at a presentation today. Customers are increasingly relying on analytics to study the flood of data coursing through their businesses, she said. Total annual revenue at the Armonk, New York-based company is up less than 1 percent since 2008. IBM has divested $15 billion in revenue over the past 10 years, Rometty said. “If we had not, we would be a much larger company,” she said. “Potentially a faster-growing company. But we would be a way lesser-margin company.”  Since 2005, IBM has spent more than $16 billion on 35 acquisitions to boost its analytics capabilities.

IBM's Rometty Delivers in First Public Speech as CEO. By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-03-08. In her March 7 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Rometty noted that IBM is one of the few companies in the world where the employees are universally known by the company name and wear the badge proudly. “They’re called IBMers,” she said. The company’s refocused values came after a 2003 “Values-Jam” initiated by then CEO Sam Palmisano, who called the IBMer the company’s greatest innovation. “IBM has reinvented itself many times,” he said during his tenure. “But through it all, its DNA, its soul remained intact... IBM's most important innovation wasn't a technology or management system. Its revolutionary idea was to define and run a company by a set of strongly held beliefs."

IBM: A Disaster In The Making. Apr 23 2013, by: Arne Alsin | about: IBM, The problem for IBM: Its operating model is built around selling on-premise computing - including so-called "private clouds" - but the $3.6 trillion IT industry is moving at an accelerating pace in an entirely different direction, to the public cloud, which is a low-margin utility model.

Spencer E. Ante, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal. IBM’s Chief to Employees: Think Fast, Move Faster April 25, 2013. In the video, Ms. Rometty salted the praise for employees in her regular post-earnings pep talk with unusually blunt comments that the company needs to speed its shift to new computing models to get back on track. "Where we haven't transformed rapidly enough, we struggled," Ms. Rometty said in the video published on IBM's internal website and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. "We have to step up with that and deal with that, and that is on all levels." In another sign of fallout from the poor earnings, IBM reassigned one of its most senior executives—the head of the company's computer hardware business—following a sharp drop in first-quarter sales at the unit, a person familiar with the matter said. Rodney Adkins, formerly head of IBM's Systems and Technology Group, will now be senior vice president for corporate strategy. … IBM blamed the poor first-quarter results on the company's sales staff, saying it failed to close a number of valuable software and hardware deals

Key Quotes From Rometty's Video … "The first lesson: accelerate our shift to the new computing model to serving new markets, to new clients, to building the new skills we've talked about—and do it now.“ "As the quarter ended hundreds of millions of dollars of software and mainframe opportunities, they didn't close; and in a number of cases because we didn't move fast enough.“ "If a client has a request, a requirement, a question, an expectation, respond in 24 hours.“ "I know we will confront this honestly and with urgency, and moments like this are when IBMers rise to the occasion. We don't retreat; we go on the offense."

May 6, 2013, David Ferrucci: Life After Watson. David Ferrucci has left I.B.M., and Watson, and joined the hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. To the degree there was a human face of Watson, the “Jeopardy!” computer champion, it was David Ferrucci. He was the I.B.M. researcher who led the development of Watson, an artificial intelligence engine. The goateed computer scientist was always articulate and at ease in front of a camera or a microphone. Dr. Ferrucci has left I.B.M. to join the giant hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. And the weight of the Watson-related fame, it seems, played a role. “I was so linked to the Watson achievement, and where I.B.M. was taking it, that I felt
I was almost losing my identity,” he said in a recent interview. After Watson beat the best human Jeopardy champions in 2011, its artificial intelligence technology was directed toward new challenges, like assisting doctors in making diagnoses in a research project at the Cleveland Clinic. …Dr. Ferrucci, 51, said he had “a great, great career” at I.B.M., spanning 20 years, and “they paid me very well.”

20130604 IBM Buys Privately Held Softlayer For $2 Billion IBM wanted SoftLayer, and is paying roughly 8 times revenue (assuming some growth since 2010) because the 7-year-old firm is the biggest privately held operator of a public cloud infrastructure. IBM sees the shift of big companies moving to the cloud as a 20-year trend and has spent billions of dollars building the biggest enterprise-cloud business globally, having made a dozen or so acquisitions in the past 3 years that touch the cloud in one form or another.

04.06.2013 IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer is a bid to make the IT giant relevant in a world where Amazon Web Services has come in from left field to snarf up workloads that IBM would very much like to own. That’s a big problem for Big Blue. Increasingly, IBM is not just competing with age-old hardware and software rivals like Oracle and HP, but also with Amazon. And, going forward, IBM will butt heads more with Google and Microsoft, which have staked big claims in public cloud infrastructure. Armonk, we have a problem. IBM’s issue: It says it has a public cloud presence in SmartCloud but most of the world doesn’t know about it. Granted, IBM can sell SmartCloud to its existing (and large) customer base of Fortune 500 companies, but if it wants to be relevant at all to newer, nimbler and more innovative customer accounts, it needed to do something. And, despite IBM’s claims to the contrary, many of those big existing enterprise customers are also either thinking about or actually putting more of their work on AWS. As a recent Morgan Stanley report put it, AWS is a very real threat to IBM and the rest of the legacy IT superstars. IBM says its current SmartCloud business — without SoftLayer — was expected to generate $7 billion in revenue in 18 months. Not too shabby on the surface, but I would bet that number derives from a melange of IBM hardware, software and services that others might not really consider “cloud” at all. Gartner says the market for public cloud services will grow 18.5 percent to $131 billion in this year from $111 billion in 2012. That’s a big opportunity and IBM is right to try to accelerate its growth there. The question is whether Amazon’s head start and early domination of this market means IBM will be an also-ran. … ARMONK, N.Y., July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of SoftLayer Technologies Inc., a privately held cloud computing infrastructure company based in Dallas, Texas. On June 4, IBM announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SoftLayer. Financial terms were not disclosed. SoftLayer joins IBM's new cloud services division, which combines SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. The new division, led by General Manager James Comfort, will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, and channel and technology partners. SoftLayer joins the more than a dozen strategic cloud acquisitions IBM has made since 2007 designed to accelerate its cloud initiatives. IBM cloud revenue grew by 80 percent in 2012. Already one of the world's leading cloud providers, IBM expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015. IBM offers more than 100 SaaS solutions to help marketing, procurement, ecommerce, customer service, human resources, city management, and other professionals make better decisions and better serve their customers. IBM is committed to driving open cloud standards.

IBM surrenders $600M CIA cloud deal to Amazon. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued a ruling in favor of Amazon. October 30, 2013.

November 7, 2013. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) appointed insider Martin Schroeter to the chief financial officer role, succeeding Mark Loughridge, as the latter executive will reach Big Blue's customary retirement age next month. The appointment is the second major change at the top of IBM's executive suite in roughly two years. In late 2011, IBM named Virginia M. Rometty, also an insider, to the chief executive role, succeeding Samuel J. Palmisano, who was 60 years old at the time. Mr. Schroeter, 49 years old, will take on the CFO role on Jan. 1. He is currently general manager of IBM global financing, and served as IBM treasurer from 2007 to 2011. He first joined IBM in 1992. His most current role is the same job Mr. Loughridge held before he became CFO, IBM said. Mark Loughridge, the longest-serving CFO in IBM’s 102-year history, managed the company’s finances as it shifted to high-margin products—an effort to steadily increase profits at the cost of sales growth.

United States : IBM inks $1.3B deal with DEXIA December 7, 2013 IBM announced it has inked a $1.3 billion deal with Dexia to build and manage the firm's IT infrastructure.

“Smart Machines – IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing” by John Kelly III and Steve Hamm published in 2013. Contents: 1. A new era of Computing; 2. Building learning systems ; 3. Handling big data; 4. Augmenting our senses; 5. Designing data-centric computer; 6. Inventing a new physics of computing; 7. Imagining the cognitive city. Coda: An alliance of Human and Machine. Notes.

IBM Annual Report 2013 signed by Virginia M. Rometty. Revenue 2012/2013 in B$: 104.507/99.751. Net income 2012/2013 in B$:16.604/16.483. Employees 2012/2013: 434.246/431.212.    
The market for data and analytics is estimated at $187 billion by 2015. To capture this growth potential, we have built the world’s broadest and deepest capabilities in Big Data and analytics – both technology and expertise. We have invested more than $24 billion, including $17 billion of gross spend on more than 30 acquisitions. We have 15.000 consultants and 400 mathematicians. Two thirds of IBM Research’s work is now devoted to data, analytics and cognitive computing. IBM has earned 4.000 analytics patents. IBM today is the leader in enterprise cloud, a position we have enhanced through investments of $7 billion on 15 acquisitions, most notably SoftLayer in 2013.  The impact of our cloud investments shows up clearly in our results. IBM’s cloud business grew 69 percent in 2013, delivering $4.4 billion of revenue. As we actively embrace cloud in order to deliver “IBM as a Service” to our clients, we expect to see significant benefits in client experience, revenue growth and enterprise productivity.   In 2013, we achieved year-over-year growth of 69 percent in mobile, 19 percent in security and 45 percent in social business. By many measures, it was a successful year for IBM. Our diluted operating earnings per share in 2013 were $16.28, a new record. This marked 11 straight years of operating EPS growth. We grew operating net income by 2 percent, to $18 billion. In 2013 we invested $3.1 billion for 10 acquisitions. We invested $3.8 billion in net capital expenditures. We invested $6.2 billion in R&D, while earning the most US patents for the 21st straight year. However, we must acknowledge that while 2013 was an important year of transformation, our performance did not meet our expectations. Our operating pre-tax income was down 8 percent. Our revenue in 2013, at $99.8 billion, was down 5 percent as reported and 2 percent at constant currency. We also announced, in January, an agreement to sell much of our Intel-based x86 server business to Lenovo. This divestiture is consistent with our continuing strategy of exiting lower-margin businesses, such as PCs, hard-disk drives and retail store solutions. But let me be clear—we are not exiting hardware. IBM will remain a leader in high-performance and high-end systems, storage and cognitive computing, and we will continue to invest in R&D for advanced semiconductor technology. In January 2014 we launched the IBM Watson Group to bring cognitive capabilities—built on technologies like machine learning, complex algorithms and natural language processing—to enterprises, institutions and individuals via the cloud. $1 billion investment, including $100 million to equip an ecosystem of entrepreneurs and partners. 2,000 engineers, researchers, developers, designers and sellers.

IBM Is Betting That Watson Can Earn Its Keep By QUENTIN HARDYJAN. 8, 2014 IBM wants to build a large and profitable business from what has mostly been a triumph of computing bragging rights, so it is giving Watson $1 billion and a nice office. It made a splash in February 2011 when it became the computer that beat humans on the television trivia show “Jeopardy!” So far, however, Watson has not delivered a lot of revenue for IBM.

Watson has initially been focused on healthcare, but also has applications in insurance, financial services and other verticals. The biggest challenges to date for Watson have revolved around implementation and tailoring its artificial intelligence for new industries. The Watson division will be led by Michael Rhodin, former senior vice president of IBM's software solutions group, which includes analytics, smarter cities and social business.

Virginia M. Rometty, IBM’s chief executive, last week announced the company’s new Watson division, which will have 2,500 employees. “This is a key growth area for IBM,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services. “We are building out a global footprint.” In addition to selling raw computing and data storage capabilities, he said, IBM plans to offer over 150 software and software development products in its cloud. Among the products is Watson, an advanced cognitive computing framework.

January 14, 2014: IBM Wins Most U.S. Patents for 21st Year as It Seeks Growth.

January 17, 2014: Bloomberg News International Business Machines Corp. (IBM:US) plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud services, bolstering a business it’s counting on for growth after spending $2 billion last year to acquire SoftLayer Technologies Inc. The company, the world’s largest provider of technology services, plans to add 15 new data centers worldwide by the end of 2014, said Lance Crosby, chief executive officer of SoftLayer.

January 23, 2014 Lenovo buys part of IBM server business for $2.3B.  IBM, based in Armonk, New York, will continue to develop Windows and Linux software for the x86 platform and will provide service to customers for an extended period after the acquisition, Lenovo said. The acquisition announced Thursday covers IBM's System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations, Lenovo said. It said about $2 billion of the purchase price will be paid in cash, the rest in Lenovo stock. IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances.

January 24, 2014 IBM CEO Ginni Rometty did something unexpected earlier this week when announcing the company’s fourth quarter earnings, which showed a 5 percent revenue decrease and marked the seventh quarterly drop in a row. “In view of the company’s overall full year results,” she said in the company’s press release, ”my senior team and I have recommended that we forgo our personal annual incentive payments for 2013.” “You don’t see a lot of CEOs or a lot of management teams declining bonuses on regular basis,” David Wise says.

Twitter buys out 900 IBM patents 31.01.2014,

18 Feb 2014 IBM has stunned its Greenock workforce with a ‘bombshell’ announcement that ALL local jobs connected to the £1.4 billion sale of a server business will be lost, it was claimed today. “In reality this will affect everyone currently employed at IBM locally. It’s devastating.” The staff member said that the plan was to move all operations relating to the x-86 server business to China during the second quarter of this year. We told earlier this month how workers feared up to 200 local jobs could go as a result of the deal with Lenovo — the world’s biggest PC maker.

BY Andrea Tse | 02/24/14 – IBM revealed a more than $1 billion cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) investment on Monday, opening its middleware to the cloud for the first time and bolstering the connectivity of enterprise applications and data to the cloud. The investment was disclosed to more than 9,000 clients, partners and developers at IBM's Feb. 23-26 cloud conference in Las Vegas, which kicked off in earnest on Monday. The investment starts with IBM's launch of "BlueMix," codename for a new PaaS, open beta, that combines IBM's software, third-party and open technologies. BlueMix will be providing DevOps in the cloud to facilitate effective and rapid construction of enterprise applications by developers, independent firms and enterprise teams. BlueMix runs on SoftLayer's global cloud platform. We think the journey of the enterprise towards the cloud is in its early days. This is going to be a $250 billion market by 2017 according to Gartner and that's a significant fact.

March, 14th 2014 A Letter to Our Clients About Government Access to Data. For decades, clients around the world have trusted IBM with their data. We believe we have earned that trust. In view of the wide range of proposed government regulations around the world related to
the handling and treatment of data, clients have asked us questions about their data – how best to secure it, where to locate it, and how we would respond should governments request access. This is also a matter of interest to our employees, our partners, and our shareholders.
Given the global discussion about data security and privacy, we wanted to communicate our view on these issues. For these reasons, it has long been our (and our clients’) expectation that if a government did have an interest in our clients’ data, the government would approach that client, not IBM.

April 2, 2014 ARMONK, N.Y., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) has elevated a record number of eleven scientists to the IBM Fellow honor, the company's most prestigious technical distinction. In the program's 51 year history, only 257 IBMers have earned the title of
'IBM Fellow' and 87 of them still remain active employees. IBM Fellows have generated over 7,700 patents, five were named Nobel Laureates, have thousands of government and professional citations and have a substantial amount of published research in prominent scientific journals.

April 16, 2014: IBM reports lowest quarterly revenue in 5 years as hardware sales fall

April 23, 2014: IBM unveiled the first servers that run its new Power8 processors Wednesday, … capable of handling the rigors of big data and high-performance computing apps. But this was no ordinary product launch. IBM spent much of a one-hour press conference in San Francisco touting the growth of the OpenPOWER Foundation, an industry consortium it launched with Google, Nvidia and others last December that aims to get third-party software and hardware vendors building their technology around the Power processor architecture.

April 24, 2014: Unions call for 'reorientation' at IBM in joint statement. Bottom line: Less talk about earnings per share of $20 by 2015 and more talk about the value of employees. "The greatest invention ever created by IBM is the IBMer."  So said Palmisano in 2003, the unions point out, in their joint statement that was issued Thursday. … "Since the announcement of the Roadmaps 2010 and 2015, IBM has mutated into a company dedicated to financial management. The most important asset of IBM, the IBM employee, has degenerated as a means to an end. Earnings per share (EPS) have become the corporation’s most important goal. … The fact that IBM has not published the results of the recent staff survey for six months is a strong indicator of poor morale and motivation of the workforce."

April 25, 2014: In 2010, right after IBM bested its $10 earnings-per-share (EPS) goal at $11.52 a share, top brass began talking about hitting a new EPS target of $20 a share by 2015. Sticking to the 2015 EPS roadmap seems to have cost IBM dearly: Last week the vendor turned in its eighth consecutive quarter of declining revenue, posting a 4 percent year-over-year slide to $22.5 billion for Q1 with net income tumbling 21 percent to 2.4 billion and EPS falling 15 percent to $2.29 a share. Has IBM’s roadmap to achieve $20 EPS by 2015 stripped the company of its key assets? Does the vendor’s long quarterly losing streak result from its dogmatic fixation on hitting that target? Bluntly, has IBM lost its mojo? Maybe so. Some of IBM’s subset numbers for the quarter sag [sic] more than the top line figures.

May 11, 2014: “We are making progress, and we just need to keep moving with speed,” said Virginia Rometty, chief executive of IBM. Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times “We are transforming this company for the next decade,” she said, sounding a theme she plans to use on Wednesday at the company’s yearly meeting with investment analysts. “That is not a one-year job, not when you’re a hundred billion-dollar company.” The shortage of growth at IBM is partly by design — and has been for years. Since 2000, the company has sold off businesses that collectively generated $16 billion in sales, including personal computers and disk drives. Since Ms. Rometty became chief executive in 2012, units with $2 billion in revenue have been shed, and when the sale to Lenovo is completed this year, she will have divested operations with revenue of $6 billion. Profit trumps growth at IBM. “We don’t want empty calories,” Ms. Rometty said. “So when people keep pushing us for growth, that is not the No. 1 priority on my list.” Since 2005, IBM has invested $24 billion in the data analytics business, including $17 billion on 30 acquisitions. In 2013, the business generated nearly $16 billion in revenue.

Alex Barinka May 13, 2014:   IBM CEO Faces Wall Street Skeptics as Growth Proves Elusive.  Growth markets: IBM has said it expects emerging markets to approach 30 percent of revenue in 2015. Last year, the markets made up 23 percent of total sales after falling 4.9 percent year-over-year.

Barb Darrow May. 15, 2014: IBM reaffirms ambitious $20 EPS goal — but no one but IBM seems to care. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who has been press shy since ascending to the top job two years ago, has been unusually chatty of late. She surfaced in a New York Times interview Sunday, on CNBC on Tuesday. And at an analyst conference Wednesday, she reiterated IBM’s goal of hitting $20 earnings per share by 2015. So, while IBM reiterated its $20 mantra the market didn’t seem to care much; shares were off slightly Wednesday after the meeting.

Julie Bort May 23, 2014: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Is A Year Away From Delivering On A Plan That Has Tied Her Hands For Years. CEO Ginni Rometty took the helm at the start of 2012 and she's been hamstrung ever since by a promise from her predecessor, Sam Palmisano, made in another day and age: In 2010, Palmisano vowed to grow profits to $20 earnings per share by 2015. When Palmisano made that promise, he was doubling down on a tactic that had worked well for him before. In 2007, he promised to deliver earnings of at least $10 a share by 2010. The company handily beat that number, delivering $11.52 EPS, and became, again, a Wall Street darling. In 2012, IBM made another bet on its own future earnings. That year it published a report outlining its "2015 Road Map" strategy, and once again predicted profits would hit $20 per share. … In Palmisano's time, enterprises were curious but distrustful of cloud computing. They didn't think it was as safe and reliable as doing IT themselves. And back then, it wasn't. Palmisano all but dismissed cloud computing during IBM's investor's day in 2010, saying, "Enterprise will have its own unique model. You can't do what we're doing in a cloud." Flash forward to 2014 and cloud computing tech has matured, the risks are lower and there are options for running every kind of software in the cloud, including Oracle databases and SAP financial software. It's not clear why Rometty has stuck with the promise rather than go her own way. Given IBM's culture, and the long history of this promise, it isn't easy for her to ditch it. And now, one year away, she's determined to fulfill it.

Two Books about IBM were published in June 2014: The Decline and Fall of IBM by Robert X. Cringely, pen name of Mark Stephens, journalist. Content and sources are very dubious; it reads as if he would have been commissioned by competitors of IBM; A View from Beneath the Elephant by Peter E. Greulich, an Ex-IBMer who retired in March 2011 after 30 years of IBM service considering himself an “employee-owner” - whatever this means. The content is a critical bottom-up view of IBM under the leadership of CEOs since Louis V. Gerstner Jr., without considering the status of IBM when John Akers stepped down.  In 2011, Greulich published “The World’s Greatest Salesman – An IBM Caretaker’s Perspective: Looking back” correctly praising IBM under the leadership of Thomas J. Watson Sr. and Thomas J. Watson Jr.   

July 15, 2014: Apple and IBM Announce Global Partnership to Develop Business Apps for iPhone, iPad. Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to Transform Enterprise Mobility CUPERTINO, California and ARMONK, New York - 15 Jul 2014: Apple® and IBMtoday announced an exclusive partnership that teams the market-leading strengths of each company to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps—bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone® and iPad®. IBM’s 5,000 mobile experts have been at the forefront of mobile enterprise innovation. IBM has secured more than 4,300 patents in mobile, social and security, that have been incorporated into IBM MobileFirst solutions that enable enterprise clients to radically streamline and accelerate mobile adoption, help organizations engage more people and capture new markets. IBM has made a dozen acquisitions in security in the past decade, has more than 6,000 security researchers and developers in its 25 security labs worldwide that work on developing enterprise-class solutions. IBM has also established the world’s deepest portfolio in Big Data and Analytics consulting and technology expertise based on experiences drawn from more than 40,000 data and analytics client engagements. This analytics portfolio spans research and development, solutions, software and hardware, and includes more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 4,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematicians who are helping clients use big data to transform their organizations.

July 29, 2014: The IBM (NYSE: IBM) board of directors today elected Alex Gorsky and Peter R. Voser to the board. Alex Gorsky, 54, is chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson, and his election to the board will take effect on September 1, 2014. Peter R. Voser, 55, a Swiss national, is the retired chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell plc His election to the board will take effect on January 1, 2015. After the elections of Mr. Gorsky and Mr. Voser take effect, the IBM board will have a total of 14 members.

July 31, 2014: IBM acquires CrossIdeas to Expand Security Offerings with Identity Intelligence. Based in Rome, Italy, CrossIdeas helps organizations seamlessly manage identities and application access by bridging the gap between compliance, business, and IT infrastructure to help reduce the risk of fraud, conflicts of duties, and human error in business processes.  The acquisition of CrossIdeas extends IBM's leadership in delivering innovation, services and software for securing enterprises. IBM has now made more than a dozen acquisitions in security over the past decade and invested extensively in dedicated research and development in the security space.

ARMONK, N.Y. - 15 Aug 2014: IBM today is pleased to announce it has received notice from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) of the successful conclusion of the committee’s review of the divestiture of its x86-based server business to Lenovo.  The clearance by CFIUS of this transaction is good news for both IBM and Lenovo, and for our customers and employees.  The parties now look forward to closing the transaction.  The approval of the $2.3 billion sale to Lenovo enables IBM to focus on system and software innovations that bring new kinds of value to IBM clients in areas such as cognitive computing, Big Data and cloud, and provides clarity and confidence to current x86 customers that they will have a strong partner going forward.

Jeff Smith appointed IBM global CIO By Brett Winterford, Allie Coyne on Aug 18, 2014.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty gets past the Big Blues by Michal Lev-Ram. September 18, 2014: In fact, Rometty doesn’t waste much time on anything not viewed as essential to “transforming” the company to which she has devoted much of her adult life. Ginni’s Rules 1. Don’t protect the past. 2. Never be defined by your product. 3. Always transform yourself. “I think she’s wicked smart,” Apple CEO Tim Cook says of Rometty (more on this truly yin-and-yang partnership later). “She has an incredible ability to partner and can make tough decisions and do so decisively. And she sees things as they really are.” The way things really are can be summed up with one word: challenging.

By Mohana Ravindranath October 12, 2014 About 10 months after creating an independent business unit for Watson, IBM is still figuring out how to derive significant revenue from the computing system in which it plans to invest at least $1 billion.

October 20, 2014: Today Rometty finally abandoned “Roadmap 2015,” announcing that IBM cannot hit the target after all. IBM reported its third-quarter results—a 10th consecutive period of falling sales, marked by weaker performance in growth markets. IBM also said it will pay a chipmaker called GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion to take its chip division off its hands, while also taking a $4.7 billion charge.

November 3, 2014: IBM names Martin Jetter head of global technology services unit.

Alex Barinka November 11, 2014: International Business Machines Corp. doesn’t plan to lock itself into another precise earnings forecast after ditching its long-held goal for 2015 profit. Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter said IBM is unlikely to put in place another “absolute” earnings-per-share roadmap. He said there’s still value in laying out the complex company’s strategy for investors. “We are going to have to be as transparent as we have been about the business and what it can earn over time,” Schroeter said today at an RBC Capital Markets investor conference. Last month, IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty tossed out the company’s goal to reach $20 a share in adjusted earnings by 2015 after sales dropped for a 10th straight quarter and demand for servers and other hardware dwindled.

By Alex Barinka Nov 12, 2014  IBM has never been under more pressure to remake itself into a provider of cloud computing. Now the question is: Can newcomer Lance Crosby speed the transition? Crosby joined International Business Machines Corp. last year when it paid
$2 billion for SoftLayer Technologies Inc., which he founded. The Dallas-based startup helps companies outsource computing tasks to off-site data centers, in what’s known as the cloud. Under Crosby, SoftLayer has become the centerpiece of IBM’s effort to get more sales from the cloud as existing businesses like servers, storage and technology services lose ground. The challenge for Crosby, 44, is getting IBM colleagues to simplify how they hire staff, sell products and develop tools, while also widening their customer base. At IBM, “there’s more smart people than I’ve ever met, but not necessarily cloud smart,” Crosby said in an interview. IBM is projecting about $7 billion in total cloud-related sales next year, with $3 billion of that coming from new offerings and the rest from older products shifted to be delivered via the cloud. Cloud revenue is already up more than 50 percent this year from $4.4 billion last year, Schroeter said yesterday. Even so, that’s still a tiny fraction of IBM’s almost $100 billion in revenue last year. IBM’s single-digit market share in cloud infrastructure services is only about a quarter of leader Amazon’s, according to Synergy Research Group. “We have more to do and we need to do it faster,” Rometty said on an earnings conference call last month. The biggest hurdle remains making IBM’s vast portfolio of software and services available on the cloud. That means adapting the technology that used to be ordered through IBM salespeople and installed in customers’ data centers, and instead letting customers purchase those offerings online and have it delivered via the cloud. That enables clients to get new products and updates faster and helps them cut costs by allowing them to pay only for what they need when they need it. Cloud Hurdles. “If I screw this up,” Crosby said, “all of the other things that we do inside IBM potentially get screwed up because they all inherit the attributes that I put into the infrastructure.”  To help the teams understand each other’s technology, IBM installed Sonny Fulkerson, formerly in the software division at IBM, as Crosby’s new chief information officer. … SoftLayer was founded in 2005 -- 94 years after IBM -- with 10 people in Crosby’s living room. 

IBM Signs $325 Million Supercomputing Deal With Dept. Of Energy Bruce Upbin Forbes Staff 11/14/2014  Today the Armonk, N.Y. computing giant announced a $325 million deal to supply the U.S. Department of Energy with a new kind of supercomputer that will move
data far faster and more efficiently than competing hardware systems. The supercomputers, nicknamed Sierra and Summit, will go online in 2017 and 2018 at the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, already home to some of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

20141118 IBM - Lufthansa: 1 B€ Outsourcing Deal 7 Years IBM has won an outsourcing contract from Germany's Lufthansa worth 1 billion €
($1.25 billion) that will see the U.S. company take over the airline's information technology infrastructure services division and staff. The move is part of plans by Lufthansa to restructure and cut costs as it seeks to compete with fast-growing rivals in both Europe and the Gulf. Under the seven-year deal, IBM said it will make the airline's IT processes more efficient, such as moving it more toward cloud computing, saving Lufthansa around 70 million euros a year. Around 1,400 Lufthansa Systems employees will transfer to IBM as part of the deal, which was first outlined in October. The deal is subject to approval by antitrust authorities and the Lufthansa supervisory board.

Microsoft AND Oracle Are Now More Valuable Than IBM Julie Bort Nov. 18, 2014, Oracle's market cap is $182 billion. IBM's is $162 billion.

AMSTERDAM Mon Dec 1, 2014  IBM signs 10-year multi-billion cloud deal with ABN Amro

Tue Dec 2, 2014 LONDON | By Eric Auchard LONDON (Reuters) - IBM is enjoying a wave of major technology outsourcing deals from European customers in the fourth quarter and the new contract signings are not over yet, an executive for the computer sciences giant said in an interview. Late on Tuesday, IBM announced the third in a string of billion dollar plus contracts, saying it had won a seven-year, $1.25 billion deal with WPP, the world's top advertising firm, to run WPP operations in the cloud.

IBM 2015: The Rise Of Watson Dec. 29, 2014 by: Matthew South. Cognitive computing is currently a $1 billion industry, growing to $50 billion in the US alone by 2018. IBM announced Watson in April 2009 after two years of development. In January 2011, Watson made its first appearance on the game show Jeopardy, easily beating well-known human champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter while providing smooth, confident, and correct answers to Alex Trebec.

IBM Annual Report 2014 signed by Virginia M. Rometty. Revenue 2013/2014 in B$: 98.367/92.793. Net income 2013/2014 in B$:16.483/12.022. EPS 2013/2014 in $: 16.64/16.53 [no statement about the Roadmap 2015 abandoned on October 20, 2014]. Employees 2013/2014: 431.212/ 379,592*. * Reflects reduction of approximately 35,000 resources due to divestitures in 2014.  
In this letter I will describe what we have done, and continue to do, to transform and differentiate your company and to position ourselves for leadership in the new era now taking shape.  Continuing to move to higher value Information technology is one of the most dynamic, fast changing and fiercely competitive industries in the world, characterized by relentless cycles of innovation and commoditization. Our choice is clear: We pursue a model of high-value innovation, rather than commodity technology, products and services. Our commitment to this model compels us to reinvent businesses continually; grow new ones organically and through acquisitions; and occasionally divest businesses that do not fit our profile. You see all of this reflected in our 2014 results — a dynamic shift of our portfolio underneath our $92.8 billion in revenue, $21 billion in operating pre-tax income and operating earnings per share of $16.53 from continuing operations. Consider that we completed or announced the divestiture of three businesses in 2014 that a year earlier drove $7 billion in revenue, but lost about $500 million in profit —what I call “empty calories.” At the same time, we are making significant investments in line with the strategy I described to you last year. Throughout the year you saw the bold moves we made: • $1 billion to accelerate the commercialization of IBM Watson, bringing cognitive computing to more clients and partners in more industries. • $1.2 billion to expand our SoftLayer cloud centers around the world. We expect to have 46 locations by the end of 2015. • $1 billion to create IBM Bluemix, our cloud platform-as-a-service for software developers.• Further scaling our global IBM Cloud business through partnerships with SAP and Tencent. • IBM Watson Analytics, offering powerful cognitive and visually intuitive analytics in the palm of your hand. • A landmark partnership with Apple to bring mobility to the enterprise and reimagine the work of professionals. • A strategic alliance with Twitter to bring an entire new category of Big Data to business. … At the same time that we have been growing new businesses, we have been reinventing our core franchises. Last year we promised to address challenges in our Systems and Technology business. We did so in 2014, with hardware going from losses in the first half to nearly $400 million of profit in the fourth quarter alone. That is a remarkable swing. In transforming this business, we took several important actions: • We sold our x86 server business and announced the divestiture of our commercial semiconductor technology business. • We committed $3 billion over the next five years to the development of next-generation semiconductor technologies. Engines of Growth: IBM’s Strategic Imperatives Today, our strategic imperatives have become a significant part of IBM. Together, cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security represented 27 percent of IBM’s revenue in 2014. IBM generated more than 3,000 patents in these areas in 2014 and remains differentiated in our ability to integrate business processes, data and systems. In 2014, our strategic imperatives generated $25B in revenue, growing by 16 percent. … We introduced major technological advances with POWER8 and software defined storage — built for cloud and Big Data. • In January 2015 we launched our new z13 mainframe. Built for the mobile era, it processes massive volumes of transactions while tapping back-office data and simultaneously applying real-time analytics for deeper insights and fraud detection. • Historically, we kept our industry-leading Power technology all to ourselves. Today, we see greater value by enabling an OpenPOWER ecosystem, which allows partners to innovate and build on the Power technology. Launched in 2013, the OpenPOWER Foundation began with five members and now stands at more than 100 around the world. The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded IBM a long-term, $325 million contract to create future supercomputers based on OpenPOWER technology. All of this speaks to the enduring quality of IBM as a high-value innovation company. Last year we again spent about 6 percent of our revenue on research and development — and the ratio within our software business is double that. We invested $4 billion on capital expenditures. IBMers are prolific innovators. For the 22nd straight year, we earned the most U.S. patents of any organization, averaging 20 a day. 2015: Our transformation continues. Our direction is clear. We remain confident in our strategy, and we have made much progress. In 2015 we will build on our momentum: 1. We will shift an additional $4 billion of spending to data, cloud and engagement this year, aimed at deepening our differentiation in the marketplace. In February we introduced innovations to make hybrid cloud a reality for the enterprise. We are also growing our portfolio of industry-specific analytics solutions in areas ranging from counter-fraud and oil and gas exploration, to airline maintenance and the Internet of Things. And we began the year by establishing a number of business units focused on markets and industries being transformed by our strategic imperatives: IBM Commerce, IBM Analytics, IBM Security and IBM Cloud. We have announced plans for an IBM Healthcare unit. 2. We will continue to bring innovation to our core franchises — innovation highly valued by our clients. I previously mentioned the entirely refreshed line of mainframes, IBM Power Systems and storage. We will continue to apply breakthroughs from IBM Research to our products and services. In software, we will accelerate our march to “as-a-service.” In services, we will deploy advanced automation to delivery. And we will continue helping new and existing outsourcing clients transform their infrastructure and processes by leveraging IBM’s hybrid cloud platform. This was an important differentiator in helping us to sign nearly 50 contracts worth greater than $100 million in 2014 and to maintain a services backlog of $128 billion. These core franchises also provide the foundation for future innovation and growth. One example is our partnership with Apple. Together, we are placing powerful analytics capabilities in the hands of professionals. These apps are integrated with critical business systems, work flows and data sets. That’s what enables an airline attendant to rebook a flight while en route; a financial advisor to model a portfolio in the client’s living room; an in-store sales assistant to act as a trusted fashion advisor; or an emergency responder to have real-time situation-risk awareness, including live video. 3. We believe open ecosystems and partnerships are key to our future innovation. This is a significant new element of our growth strategy. We will add to and scale partnerships with companies like Apple, Twitter, SAP, Tencent and now, SoftBank. Also, the IBM Watson Ecosystem is rapidly expanding, with 4,000 companies in the pipeline. Together, these actions will make IBM an even higher-value business. We expect our strategic imperatives of cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security to continue growing by double digits and to become a greater percentage of IBM. We will remain the enterprise leader in these markets. Finally, we will continue to return substantial value to you, our owners, through dividends and gross share repurchases. Last year, these were $4.3 billion and $13.7 billion, respectively. In 2014 we marked our 19th consecutive year of raising our dividend and our 99th year of paying one.

By Douglas A. McIntyre January 1, 2015.  Out of the field of eight that comprised 24/7 Wall St.’s   “America’s Worst Run
Companies
,” International Business Machines Corp. (IBM: NYSE) was chosen as the worst among them. Our original list was published on December 16. Since then, IBM has made arguments that harsh criticisms of its operations are inaccurate. However, there have been several negative evaluations of IBM’s management recently, particularly one published by Bloomberg two days ago. All of the eight businesses identified by 24/7 Wall St. as America’s worst run companies declined in three key measures — earnings per share, revenue and share price —  in the past year. IBM, which continues to be a market leader in IT consulting and hardware, has struggled to respond to the shift to cloud computing, as businesses moved from maintaining servers and mainframes to using cloud storage and software. While IBM continues to rely heavily on its legacy businesses, competitors, including Amazon and Rackspace, are well ahead in providing cloud infrastructure services. One of the company’s biggest problems in recent years was also largely self-induced — IBM wanted to simultaneously grow the lower margin cloud business and raise adjusted earnings to $20 per share by 2015. … Editor’s note: IBM’s PR department sent 24/7 Wall St. a note in reaction of our analysis. Among the comments: Instead you might want to consider that those strategic parts of IBM — cloud, business analytics, social, mobile and security — are up double digits YTD.  These are the areas where IBM continues to invest aggressively because they are the emerging areas of IT that matter most to clients.

January 12, 2015 by Timothy Prickett Morgan. Big Blue did a lot of changing last year, and CEO Ginni Rometty started off this year by making some organizational and personnel changes that reflect the new shape of its company and the opportunities that it sees ahead of it in the global economy that is also undergoing wrenching change. Information technology and the economy have been changing each other for so long that it is hard to say what is cause and what is effect, but what can be said is that IBM has spent more than 10 decades adapting to such changes. In a memo to IBM employees that was sent out on January 5, Rometty explained the organizational changes as well as the rationale behind them. "A year ago we laid out our strategy, and said that IBM's investments, acquisitions, divestitures--and our own practices as IBMers--would be reshaped by our strategic imperatives of data, cloud and engagement, underscored by security," Rometty wrote.  "The past year has strongly validated our strategy, as clients embrace and invest in these new technologies. Our industry is rapidly re-ordering. And IBM has been moving aggressively--evident in a long list of 'signature moments' through 2014. They included the formation of IBM Watson; the global expansion of SoftLayer's cloud pods; the launch of Power8; the creation of our cloud platform-as-a-service, BlueMix; our $3 billion investment in next-generation semiconductor R&D; the acquisition of Cloudant; the launch of Watson Analytics; our divestitures of x86 servers and semiconductor manufacturing; our enterprise mobility alliance with Apple; our cloud partnerships with SAP and Tencent; and our Big Data partnership with Twitter.“ Software Group and Systems and Technology Group remained distinct businesses, with their own segments and profit and loss statements. With the sale of the System x division to Lenovo Group, which closed in the United States in October and in Europe last week, IBM has seen fit to start talking about its systems business as a whole. To that end, the new IBM Systems group will include Power Systems and System  z mainframe servers, IBM's various tape, disk, and flash storage products as well as operating systems and middleware as a single unit. Tom Rosamilia, who was heading up Systems and Technology Group, will lead the IBM Systems group.  … As part of the reorganization, IBM is also appointing Steve Mills, the long-time leader of the Software Group and the executive chosen to run the combined software and systems unit in recent years, as an executive vice president in charge of software and systems. The name change is significant in that Mills is the only executive vice president--all of the other top leaders are senior vice presidents. Even though software assets will be embedded in various IBM groups (including a new IBM Cloud group) and in vertical stacks that also have their own managers (such as the new IBM Healthcare group that was also created), Mills is being tapped to keep track of all of the software assets as a whole and keep everything humming. "We will also look to him to play a leadership role in our most significant technology partnerships and relationships involving clients, countries and our industry," Rometty said. With Systems and Technology Group gone, IBM Research has to go somewhere, and it will be a free-standing unit led by Arvind Krishna, who is being elevated to senior vice president and director of the R&D arm of Big Blue. He succeeds John Kelly, who now has the position of senior vice president of solutions portfolio and research. Krishna was most recently general manager of development and manufacturing in the Systems and Technology Group, and he led the team that created the Power8 processor and who ran IBM's database business for many years as well as having key technical roles in Software Group and IBM Research. Kelly is the bridge between IBM Research and three new cross-platform business units. They are: IBM Analytics, led by Bob Picciano; IBM Commerce, led by Deepak Advani; and IBM Security, led by Brendan Hannigan. All of these divisions, Rometty explained, will have an analytics component,  will have software assets tied to them as well as professional services. Each unit, as Rometty put it, "will offer hybrid cloud delivery, and each unit will support open platforms and global ecosystems."  In some ways, these new stack groups resemble the IBM Watson group that was formed last year and that is being led by Mike Rhodin. IBM is also forming another industry-focused unit called IBM Healthcare, which Rhodin will create using the hardware, software, services, and research available across IBM. All of the executives of these units as well as Krishna report to Kelly in the new organization chart. The last big change that was announced for 2015 is the creation of the IBM Cloud group, which will be headed up by long-time IBM executive Robert LeBlanc. The SoftLayer cloud, the Cloud Managed Services (CMS) tools derived from SmartCloud and OpenStack, and the BlueMix commercialized version of the open source Cloud Foundry tool will be put into this new group. LeBlanc has been in charge of IBM's Tivoli systems management and WebSphere middleware lines in the past, among many other high-level jobs.

For the 22nd year in a row, IBM received the most patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and also broke the record for patents in a year. IBM announced that it received a record 7,534 patents in 2014—marking the 22nd consecutive year that the company topped the annual list of U.S. patent recipients.  … IBM inventors also received more than 500 patents for inventions that will usher in the era of cognitive systems, including new Watson related cognitive technologies. During IBM’s 22 years atop the patent list (1993-2014), the company’s inventors have received more than 81,500 U.S. patents.

January 13, 2015. Summary: IBM's latest mainframe is being pitched to existing and new customers as a system that can handle all the transactions that flow through mobile devices. IBM is rolling out its latest mainframe, the z13, and the company is trying to reposition its warhorse computing system for the app economy and all of the transactions that go with it. The z13 is important to IBM for a few reasons. First, IBM could use a new mainframe upgrade cycle to improve its hardware business, which has been downsized following the sale of commodity servers to Lenovo. The z13 is the first new mainframe in three years. And second, IBM has been trying to reposition the mainframe for years for everything from a cloud computing building block to part of the mobile economy. Big Blue sees the mainframe as a system that is reinvented continually. … IBM said that the z13 reflects five years of development, more than 500 new patents, $1 billion in investment and collaboration with 60 customers. Overall, the z13 can process 2.5 billion transactions a day, or 100 Cyber Mondays every day.

Julie Bort  January 28, 2015: Lance Crosby, the founder and CEO of one of IBM's major cloud businesses, SoftLayer, has resigned from IBM as part of an internal reorganization. IBM has confirmed his departure. …Crosby, 44, who ran Dallas-based SoftLayer for eight years as a privately held company, stayed on for about 19 months after IBM bought SoftLayer. Earlier this month, IBM shuffled other top cloud executives around. Erich Clementi is no longer running IBM's services unit, ultimately responsible for the cloud business, a move announced in November. Martin Jetter is taking his place. Rometty appointed Robert LeBlanc, a 33-year Big Blue veteran, to run a newly formed IBM Cloud unit. SoftLayer COO Francisco Romero announced the news internally on January 23. Sources close to the situation said Crosby decided now was a good time to step away, as IBM has reorganized with a newly- formed IBM Cloud group headed by Big Blue veteran Robert LeBlanc. Crosby was set to transition to a new role as head of innovation for IBM Cloud when he decided to leave. In 2005, Crosby and 9 other of ex-employees from their former employer, web hosting provider The Planet, launched SoftLayer in Crosby's apartment, Crosby told Business Insider. SoftLayer grew really fast and eventually, it acquired The Planet and a number of other regional web hosting companies. It grew to about 21,000 customers with 13 data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, when IBM bought it, and was thought to be the largest private web hosting company at that time. "If you would have told me in 2005 when I created this company in my living room, that the oldest, largest American tech company would buy my company, I wouldn't have believed you," Crosby told Business Insider. IBM confirmed Crosby's departure with this statement: We wish Lance Crosby the best as he takes a well deserved break before pursuing new endeavors. Lance has left his mark on IBM. SoftLayer has become an important part of IBM’s cloud portfolio, and has played a big role in our success. And, via IBM, Crosby sent this statement: I am very proud of the business we built and the team who continue to evolve SoftLayer at  IBM. Now that the business is successfully integrated into IBM, I am ready to take some time off before I pursue my next challenge.

Jack Schofield Freelance blogger January 28, 2015 Summary: When IBM signed up for Basic and DOS in 1980, Microsoft was tiny (40 staff) compared to Big Blue (341,279). But in the latest round of quarterly results, Microsoft unveiled bigger revenues, and it has 10x more cash in the bank.

BRANDON BAILEY January 30, 2015 SAN FRANCISCO – IBM boss Virginia Rometty will get a $3.6 million bonus for her performance last year, even though the company's sales and profits declined in 2014. Rometty and other top executives did not take bonuses for 2013, after IBM turned in disappointing results for that year. … As CEO, Rometty is also getting a 6.7 percent raise in her base salary, which has been  $1.5 million since she took the top job in 2012. She will get $1.6 million in 2015, the company said in a regulatory filing Friday. IBM is also raising her target bonus to $5 million for 2015. In addition, the company said she'll be eligible for up to $13.3 million in potential stock grants that would be awarded for her performance over the next three years, up from a maximum of $12.75 million in long-term incentive grants that were reported last year.

Julie Bort Feb. 26, 2015. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty faced investors on Thursday to unveil a new roadmap for the company since she was forced to abandon the old one, which was not achieved, back in October. One analyst asked: did she learn anything from that failure? Answer: yes. "I'm a big believer in lessons learned. Constantly with the team we go over why, why, why? What did you learn and what would you do different, right? The only bad mistake is a mistake you don't learn from," she said. For herself, she had two takeaways from the failure of IBM to hit its years-long promise of $20 earnings per share by 2015: No. 1. The enterprise tech world is changing faster than she thought it would. These days, companies are spending their money on a whole bunch of new technologies like cloud computing, mobile, social, and big data. That means they are spending less on old-fashioned computers, expensive software, and consulting services to install and manage that stuff — which is where IBM makes most of its money. “There’s quite a lesson learned about predicting that change is going to happen, and it happened at an unprecedented rate, and to allow for things that you don't yet see to happen. That's my biggest learning," she said.  "We didn't project at that time that there would be that industry change." "As we make assumptions about our strategy, we are constantly challenging them, right? Why will that remain true?" she says, adding. No. 2. She wasn't watching how consumer technology was invading the workplace. Rometty didn't predict how consumer tech was being brought to work, giving employees increasing control over what apps they use and how they want to work. "I also learned to watch [the] consumer [trends]. And by the way, I do remember the time when some of you were saying, come on shouldn't you be looking more at consumer? It wasn't about going into consumer. My goodness. We spent a lot of time getting out of consumer. We sold the Thinkpad. We sold the PC business to Lenovo. But, we then had to learn to say, it wasn't about the device, it was about how it would actually transform work. That was a learning," she says. … Rometty told investors on Thursday that this is exactly her new plan. IBM will spend $4 billion to grow $40 billion in revenue in what it calls strategic areas like cloud computing, mobile, and big data by 2018. That  will nearly double what IBM is making on these areas now. And that's on top of the $7 billion she's already committed to spend on cloud, computer storage, and microprocessor R&D. And that doesn't include any acquisitions, big or small.

Douglas A. McIntyre March 7, 2015. The global cloud computing market is expected to grow at an 30% CAGR reaching $270 billion in 2020, concludes the latest research report covering the cloud computing products, technologies and services for the global market.

Technology | Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:00am EDT BEIJING | By Matthew Miller and Gerry Shih (Reuters) - IBM Corp will share technology with Chinese firms and will actively help build China's industry, CEO Virginia Rometty said in Beijing as she set out a strategy for one of the foreign firms hardest hit by China's shifting technology policies. IBM must help China build its IT industry rather than viewing the country solely as a sales destination or manufacturing base, Rometty said at the China Development Forum, an annual Chinese government-sponsored conference bringing together business executives and China's ruling elite. IBM's sales in China have stabilized after a sharp drop that began in the third quarter of 2013 following Snowden's revelations. The Armonk, New York-based company reported a 1 percent slide in revenue in China during the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with the prior year.

Greg Satell Contributor 4/27/2015. It’s  earnings season again and Amazon, for the first time ever, has broken out the financial results of its cloud services division, Amazon Web Services (AWS).  The results  are impressive.  In less than a decade, Amazon has grown AWS into a $5 billion business that is still growing at 50%. Yet even more impressive—and strangely unnoticed—is that at IBM cloud services is now a $7.7 billion business growing at 75%, according to IBM CFO Martin Schroeter’s prepared remarks during the company’s recent earnings call.  Even for Big Blue, that’s a big business.

ARMONK, N.Y. and DALLAS, May 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM today announced it has completed the acquisition of Phytel, a leading provider of integrated population health management software based in Dallas, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phytel is a leader in physician-led population health management software that develops and sells cloud-based services that improve long term health outcomes by helping healthcare providers and care teams coordinate care and engage patients to positively influence population health. Phytel also enables providers to meet the new healthcare quality requirements and reimbursement models by delivering proven quality care to patients based on evidence of what works best. "The acquisition of Phytel supports our goal to advance the quality and effectiveness of personal healthcare by enabling secure access to individualized insights and a more complete picture of the many factors that can affect people's health," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. Phytel will become part of IBM's new Watson Health unit. …IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing.

May 11th, 2015 by Adam Armstrong. Today IBM announced new servers, storage and mainframe software, and solutions designed for cloud computing. New products and solutions include: IBM Power System E850 - The industry's first 4-socket system with flexible capacity and up to 70% guaranteed utilization. IBM Power System E880 - In conjunction with the latest enhancements to the E880 allowing it to scale to 192 cores, IBM testing has shown that critical data-intensive business workloads like IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration exhibit perfect linear scaling all the way up to this capacity. IBM PurePOWER System – IBM claims it is the most secure, quick-to-deploy converged infrastructure for cloud with open choice. IBM Spectrum Control Storage Insights - New software defined storage solution provides data management as a hybrid cloud service to optimize on-premises storage infrastructures. IBM XIV GEN 3 - New system designed for cloud with IBM Real-time Compression that reduces TCO. IBM XIV grid architecture integrated proven real-time compression technology can store 50 to 80% more data and with little or no application impact.  Big Storage Technology - A technology preview of a new active cloud archive service for clients to store large amounts of data and easily retrieve it on demand. Rocket Data Access Service on Bluemix for z Systems: Provides clients a simple, seamless and secure connection to data on the IBM z Systems mainframe for development of mobile applications through Bluemix.
Starting in June, clients can access a free trial of the service, which works with a range of database storage systems, including VSAM, ADABASE, IMS, CICS and DB2, and allows access through common mobile application interfaces, including MongoDB, JDBC and the REST protocol. Along with the new products and solutions, IBM is also offering flexible software licensing for hybrid clouds.

ARMONK, N.Y., May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM's (NYSE: IBM) Smarter Cities Challenge program (@CitiesChallenge) will be sending teams of company experts to 16 municipalities around the world through 2016 to help cities with critical issues ranging from jobs creation, transportation, and public safety, to healthcare, revenue, social services, and public works. The 16 winners for 2015-16 were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 100 cities around the world that applied for a grant of consulting services from IBM.

Lauren F Friedman May 14, 2015. Last week, Ginni Rometty, the chairman and CEO of IBM, stood on stage in front of a packed room and announced that she was going to make "a bold prediction." "In the future, every decision that mankind makes is going to be informed by a cognitive system like Watson," she said, "and our lives will be better for it." Listening in were the crowds of engineers, designers, doctors, bankers, researchers, and reporters that IBM had ferried over to a massive glass-and-steel structure on the banks of the East River in Brooklyn. The occasion was a new event, World of Watson, designed to showcase the "ecosystem" of innovation happening around Watson, IBM's signature artificial-intelligence system.

By Larry Dignan for Between the Lines | June 3, 2015. IBM said Wednesday that it has acquired Blue Box, which specializes in OpenStack private clouds. The privately held Blue Box, which is based in Seattle, gives IBM another piece in its OpenStack arsenal. IBM has bet big on the hybrid cloud and sees OpenStack as the connective tissue for on-premise infrastructure, its public SoftLayer cloud and private clouds. IBM is also targeting managed cloud services.

Julia Jacobs, June 19, 2015.  Virginia Rometty, IBM chairwoman and CEO, enters Ryan Field for Friday's commencement ceremony alongside University President Morton Schapiro. Rometty gave this year's commencement address to an audience of 15,000 graduates, faculty and guests. Sharing stories from her youth to her later career, Rometty imparted lessons of discovery and risk-taking during her remarks to the graduates at Northwestern’s 157th annual commencement at Ryan Field. “Do not confuse a goal with purpose,” Rometty told graduates. “You may find that purpose in business or public service, academia — you choose. But I hope … that you leave today with a purpose to change the world in some way.” Rometty credited her own mother with setting an example for self-determination as she raised four children alone after Rometty’s father abandoned the family. Rometty’s mother went to school during the day and worked nights, launching herself into a 25-year career at a hospital near Chicago, she said. “My mother was so determined to never let anyone define her as a failure, a single mother or, anything worse, a victim,” Rometty said.  “Through her actions she taught us all, never let anyone define you. …  Only you define who you are.”

Lilian Cunningham June 26, 2015. On Leadership.  IBM is struggling. But former CEO Sam Palmisano says he isn’t looking back. Samuel J. Palmisano led Big Blue as if he were coach. He thought about the stock market like a scoreboard. He thought about winning and losing. He thought about employees as players whose technical skill outshone his own, but who needed a leader to bring out their collective best. He thought about the record he had to maintain each season to stay on for the next. It has now been three-and-a-half years since Palmisano retired as chief executive of IBM, where he spent his entire career. And though the scores were high during his decade-long run as CEO, revenues have slid since his departure—from about $107 billion in 2011 to $93 billion in 2014. It has left some analysts wary of the long-term health of the tech giant, and of whether the financial gains under Palmisano came at the expense of sustainable growth. Does Palmisano think he could have done anything differently to set IBM up for success once he left? Not really. What has happened since falls to a new coach, a new team, he says. In retirement he has turned his efforts to a nonprofit research institute called the Center for Global Enterprise, where he's applying the lessons he took from leading IBM. In this interview, Palmisano spoke with The Washington Post about what he learned from being CEO, and, in hindsight, what he thinks he got right and wrong. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity. … Q. Do you think many CEOs have trouble keeping in mind the things they should really care about when all is said and done? …. Q. How does it feel being out of the hot seat? A. Life is great no longer being CEO of a large public company. I think some people underestimate the difficulty and stress of the job. A. You’re there primarily to drive financial results. We could argue the good or the bad of that—that’s a nice intellectual discussion—but you’re measured by your owners, the shareholders, and they expect financial performance.
It’s like if you’re a coach in sports, you have to win on Sunday. You can’t lose two years in a row in the NFL and still be a coach for that team.
It’s the same thing. You can’t have three or four bad years as a public CEO and expect to be CEO during year five. That’s just the nature of the job. … Q. What was the hardest part of leading a public company? A. Not falling in love with yourself. I was maybe the longest-sitting CEO of IBM other than a Watson, but, nonetheless, I’m not the IBM company. A lot of people before me built a great enterprise. I was fortunate enough to represent it for nine to ten years, but I’m a temporal steward of an iconic organization. If you think you are the success, then you’ll make mistakes because you won’t encourage and motivate the team to go win every day. One of the most detrimental things any leader can do is put themselves above the organization. Yet you see it all the time. If you can leave the company better than when you found it, to me that was the ultimate measure of success. Q. While you were still CEO in 2010, you set a target for what earnings per share would be by 2015. Seeing how it’s played out, do you still think that was the right target to set? A. The first model was set in 2006 for 2010. We didn’t like the 90-day forecast of Wall Street. You make or you miss by a penny, and stocks are very volatile. I just felt that was the wrong way to run the company. However, investors want some direction as to where you’ll be so they can measure you and decide whether to invest in you or not. That’s a very fair request. It’s not short sighted—they’re putting their money and their faith in you and the company. So, we came up with something we felt we could live with and that made sense, which was a 2010 road map to go from $6 to at least $10 a share. It wasn’t about wanting a financial target. It was about giving a long-term perspective of where the IBM company could be in four or five years. It was a way to be shareholder friendly, but not be quarterly driven. Q. But do you ever ask yourself if there was anything you could have done to set the company up better to succeed long term, even after you were gone? A. No, I really don’t. Even if I did, I wouldn’t comment. Of course I care a lot about IBM, I spent my whole life there. But you’re not going to get me to comment, because it’s not appropriate. I packed up my desk as CEO in 2011. There’s a great team in place. They’re wrestling with serious challenges—that’s obvious to everyone today. If they solve those challenges, then the world will reward them for that. And hopefully they do. Leaders should do what they do at that point in time, try to leave it better than when they got there, and then get out of the way. Give other people space. It’s like children in many ways. At some point you have to let go. They’re adults. Let them make decisions. Not every decision is going to be perfect, nor were our decisions always perfect, but you’ve got to give them a chance. Q. Let’s talk about succession planning. What lessons did you learn when you took over the CEO role from Lou Gerstner, and then when you passed it along to Ginni Rometty? A. The responsibility of the CEO is to prepare multiple alternatives for the board to decide. There were probably three legitimate CEO candidates who were very qualified within the organization. Then the board, based upon their view of the future strategy, made a decision. They can go outside if they feel it’s appropriate. I’d argue you should go inside, because insiders know the place the best and they’re going to have a leg up. In our case, we were preparing multiple people and the board selected Ginni. I think they made the right decision. She was clearly the most able, the most capable, and she deserved the job. Q. What did being a company lifer make easier for you when taking on the CEO role, and what did it make harder? A. The hardest thing is that you have to put yourself in an outsider’s view as an insider. You have to be able to look at things objectively and analytically. That’s hard because you know things intuitively, you’ve been there. Before I replaced Lou, I’d run every business except software. So you have to, in many ways, take a completely different perspective from where your instincts were going to drive you. The easy part of the job is that you know the culture. If you see things in the culture that are inhibitors to future success, you know exactly what to do to turn those knobs. When people say to you, “This place is too bureaucratic and slow,” you know it is, because you lived it. Lou Gerstner brought the perspective of a customer, he brought an outsider’s point of view, but he needed help connecting to the culture to get people to change. He used to tell us in meetings: You guys are the natives with the map. I don’t have the map. You’ve got to help me change this place. He was right, and he relied on us to do those things. I think quite honestly if you’re looking for a smoother transition, you’re better off going inside. It doesn’t mean there aren’t people like Lou, who was incredibly capable and did a phenomenal job, but he’s the minority. Q. Since people in the company already knew you, how did you have to change your style of interacting with them once you were in the very top spot? A. I say this to a lot of people when they become CEO—you will think you haven’t changed, but everybody’s going to look at you differently, so in a way you have changed. All the people you knew forever have a completely different view of you. That starts out as an out-of-body experience. Like, who is this person? You can never forget who you are. If you don’t show emotion, you don’t react negatively when things don’t go well, you’re not honest and candid, you’re not yourself, then people will think you’re not authentic and they won’t follow you. You have to be human, right? If you come across as the perfect mold—I’ve been to communications school, I should sit like this and talk like that—people aren’t going to relate to you. You will eventually change, because the job changes you. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you should never forget, as you change, who you are and be grounded in who you are. Q. Did you develop techniques for getting people to still give you honest feedback and not shield you from things because suddenly you’re CEO? A. Their instincts are going to be to shield you, for lots of reasons. Sometimes they think they’re protecting you; sometimes they only want to give you good information or good news. That’s human nature. There were ways I would try to make sure I had a constant feedback channel. I used to include people other than my direct reports as part of the monthly meeting. They could be four levels down from the senior vice presidents. It was a way for them to learn, and also a way to get different points of view into the discussion that weren’t just the old guys who had been around and seen these things a zillion times. The other thing I would suggest to any CEO is to have one source of data. Not multiple financial systems, not multiple facts. At IBM there was one system—one set of accounting, one set of market share, one set of customer. Whether you were a salesperson or an entry-level HR person, you saw the same information the CEO and CFO saw. There was no time spent debating the data. The discussion was: Given these problems we see, how do we work on them? A lot of companies spend all their time in meetings discussing whether their facts are correct.
They never get to the problem-solving phase of the meeting. I viewed that as a waste of time. Q. What mistake in your life yielded a leadership lesson that has stuck with you? A. There are a lot of those. Gosh. I was slow to make a decision. Slow to react.  You have to move faster—I learned that in the PC business. Suddenly one of your competitors cuts prices in Asia, let’s say. You don’t have a lot of time to respond. You can’t study the market trends. You’ve got to react one way or the other. I learned I was slow. Discipline. Sloppiness. I learned over time to be much more disciplined, much more thorough in the analysis than I ever imagined I ever would become. Personnel decisions. You grow up with all these people, so you always want to give them a second chance. But a third chance? A fourth chance? A fifth chance? You think: Come on, they’ll get better. You coach them and they don’t. If you go through the patterns of mistakes I made, it all came down to speed. And maybe that’s a little bit of confidence, which brings speed. If you’ve been through enough experiences, you can pick up the pace of decisions. Usually when I was slow to respond to whatever it happened to be, it’s because I was too reflective. I knew what was the right thing, and I should have acted—based more on intuition and less on analysis. Q. On the flip side of that, what would you identify as a key factor that helped you move up the ranks to have a successful career? A. You’ve got to start with luck. You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time, and moving at the right pace. If you’re 60, it’s hard to become the CEO. But the most important thing, to me anyway, was phenomenal resilience. You’re going to get knocked down. You’re going to get beat up. And I got beat up a lot—2005 first quarter was a bad quarter. Everybody was screaming for my head on TV. You have to fight through it, you can’t personalize it. Bad times are going to happen to everybody. You can’t be in these jobs and not have something bad happen, it’s impossible. People say you have to be smart—I don’t know if I’m smart. I was a scholarship kid who played sports.  I’m not an engineer. Do you have to be brilliant to be a successful CEO? If you’re brilliant, you should be a brain surgeon. Or an academic. You don’t have to be brilliant to run a company, but you have to be a good people person. You have to be able to lead, to cajole. You have to care. That’s what you have to do. Q. What’s the best piece of leadership advice anyone ever gave you? A. The best piece of leadership advice I ever received—other than take off those goofy glasses (which I still have, I’ve had them since I was in the 7th grade, they haven’t changed much) and you smile too much—was to never be the smartest person in the room. If you have to be the smartest person in the room, then you can’t get people to open up and work with you to solve a problem. It was easier for me, because I wasn’t the smartest person in the room ever at IBM. There were PhDs, Nobel Prize winners. I mean it was impossible for me to be the smartest person in the room. It wasn’t ever going to happen. The ultimate measure of your success is the results of the company or your team. Not you. Not your brand, not your personality, not your great interview, not that phenomenal speech that you gave. It’s the team. At the end of the day, just like in sports, the score goes up. And if it was a winning score, you won. And if it was a losing score, you didn’t. So it’s about how you can get the best out of the organization, not necessarily how you can be the best yourself.

July 01, 2015: MONTPELIER, Vt. –  GlobalFoundries announced Wednesday it had completed its purchase of IBM's microchip plants in Vermont and New York, giving a new lease on life to a big employer in Vermont and New York's Duchess County. "Today we have significantly enhanced our technology development capabilities and reinforce our long-term commitment to investing in R&D for technology leadership," said Sanjay Jha, chief executive officer of GlobalFoundries. The announcement came two days after the acquisition won its needed federal approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an inter-agency panel that reviews the national security implications of big commercial transactions. GlobalFoundries is owned by an investment firm in turn owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. Terms of the deal include: — IBM has agreed to pay GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years to take over its chip-making operations. The money will be used for new investment in plants that Richard Doherty of the tech industry research firm Envisioneering said were no longer "state of the art.“ — GlobalFoundries will be the exclusive suppliers of certain classes of chips to IBM for 10 years.— A promise of stable employment. "We extended job offers to every employee involved in the transaction. We do not expect any workforce reductions associated with the deal at this time," Gorss said in an email. IBM spokeswoman Lisa Lanspery said GlobalFoundries' takeover of the microchip manufacturing operations will allow Big Blue to focus on research and development of the coming generations of computer chip design. In a joint research project at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, the companies are working to develop 10 nanometer and 7 nanometer chips for mobile devices and stationary equipment like servers and printers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. IBM is investing $3 billion in computer chip research in the next five years, Lanspery said. Jeff Couture, a former spokesman at the IBM Vermont plant who is now executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance business group, said IBM is effectively  "outsourcing their manufacturing."

Barb Darrow ,  Stacy Jones @gigabarb August 5, 2015 A first: Microsoft inches past IBM in annual revenue. Microsoft revenues now stand at $93.58 billion annually, compared to $92.79 billion for IBM.

9 August 2015 - 10:25am | posted by Jennifer Faull IBM has acquired medical imaging group Merge Healthcare for $1bn – a move that will give supercomputer Watson the ability to see.

September 15, 2015 By Pedro Hernandez. After pledging billions of dollars to advance its IoT capabilities, Big Blue makes it official by launching a new business unit. IBM formally launched its Internet of Things (IoT) business unit, the company announced on Sept. 14. The development comes months after the IT giant announced it was investing $3 billion over the new four years on IoT research and products.

September 28, 2015: IBM just added a new director to its board, Hutham S. Olayan, a senior executive at Saudi Arabian conglomerate The Olayan Group. This addition marks IBM’s fourth female board member, adding to CEO Ginni Rometty, Columbia University professor Joan Spero, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson. Olayan, who also serves on the board of investment bank Morgan Stanley, heads up operations and investments for North, Central and South America for The Olayan Group. The Saudi Arabian company comprises more than 40 companies in the areas of oil, steel, and fast food. According to a recent Bloomberg report, The Olayan Group is the leading franchise holder for Burger King in the Middle East and North Africa. The conglomerate is also the local Middle East manufacturer of Kleenex, Coca-Cola and Huggies diapers.

Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-10-02.  IBM continues to advance its cloud momentum with a $1 billion deal with EVRY, a Nordic IT services company. IBM announced it has signed a $1 billion 10-year partnership with Nordic IT services company EVRY in which IBM will serve as EVRY's primary cloud infrastructure services provider. As part of the agreement, IBM will enhance EVRY's infrastructure services, the companies said. This includes providing services running on IBM's SoftLayer Cloud infrastructure based in the data center in Fet/Oslo that IBM is launching next year.

Stephanie Overby  Oct 6, 2015. HP and IBM rated top IT outsourcing service providers. HP and IBM have received the highest industry Net Promotor Scores, meaning IT outsourcing customers are much more likely to recommend them than other service providers.

Oct 6, 2015 The new IBM Cognitive Business Solutions will draw on the expertise of more than 2,000 consulting pros who bring backgrounds in machine learning, advanced analytics, data science and development, and industry and change management. IBM today launched its latest strategic initiative: a 2,000-employee consulting unit devoted exclusively to business that builds on the cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson. "Our work with clients across many industries shows that cognitive computing is the path to the next great set of possibilities for business," Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services, said in a statement today. "Clients know they are collecting and analyzing more data than ever before, but 80 percent of all the available data — images, voice, literature, chemical formulas, social expressions — remains out of reach for traditional computing systems. We're scaling expertise to close that gap and help our clients become cognitive banks, retailers, automakers, insurers or healthcare providers."

Kate Kaye. Published on October 06, 2015. IBM is making a sweeping change to the way it frames its business internally and how the tech giant projects its value to the world. The firm's Smarter Planet brand strategy has been replaced with what IBM calls Cognitive Business, a reflection of the seismic impact of cloud computing and data analytics on the company and its clients. The brand-platform update is the third in twenty years for IBM, and will involve an investment at least as large as that of its seven-year Smarter Planet effort, which encompassed around 100 TV spots and several hundred print ads. "We will apply at least that amount behind the Cognitive Business idea behind Watson," said Jon Iwata, IBM's senior VP marketing and communications, who would not provide campaign budget numbers. “

Oct. 13, 2015 6:37 a.m. ET DUBAI—Etihad Airways and IBM on Tuesday announced an information technology deal worth $700 million over 10 years that aims to improve the airline’s booking systems and cut costs from its network operations. The agreement between Etihad and IBM includes analytics of customer data and the development of technology that can predict weather patterns to better manage the airline’s flights at its Abu Dhabi hub.

Oct 13, 2015 6:00 a.m. ET. BANGALORE, India, Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) opens its first public cloud data center in India. Located in Chennai, the new IBM Cloud data center offers local customers and end users increased performance and speed for data traveling to and from the region. Part of IBM's $1.2 billion investment to expand its global cloud footprint into every major financial market, the Chennai data center underscores IBM's commitment to India, a key growth market for the company. With a local onramp to IBM Cloud, Indian customers, especially those in regulated industries, gain more flexibility to store and compute data within the country.

Julie Bort Oct. 13, 2015, 2:55 PM  IBM CEO: It is the 'dawn of a new era' where computers think and make decisions Five ways 'cognitive' can change a business now Rometty, always a fan of lists, says she sees five ways companies will become "cognitive," and IBM is doing all of these today: 1. Understanding your customers better. 2. Turning every employee into an expert. 3. Products that automatically adapt to the person that owns it. 4. Managing the corporate supply chain. 5. Something Rometty calls "discovery." That ranges from new areas to invest in, finding potential new products to develop, or how you search data. One example: IBM announced a partnership with Thompson Reuters last week to put its catalog of business data on Watson. Rometty is so serious about this, she has even created a business unit called IBM Cognitive Business Solutions. Last week, IBM launched a huge new, 2,000 person consulting practice for the unit and says it will be training another 25,000 consultants.

Oct. 19, 2015 ARMONK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- IBM (NYSE:IBM) Diluted EPS from continuing operations: Operating (non-GAAP): $3.34, down 9 percent; GAAP: $3.02, down 13 percent; Net income from continuing operations: Operating (non-GAAP): $3.3 billion, down 11 percent; GAAP: $3.0 billion, down 14 percent; Gross profit margin from continuing operations: Operating (non-GAAP): 50.0 percent, up 80 basis points; GAAP: 48.9 percent, up 40 basis points; Revenue from continuing operations: $19.3 billion: Down 1 percent adjusting for currency (9 points) and the divested System x business (4 points); down 14 percent as reported.

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua 10-22-2015 Full coverage: China’s Leaders BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang met with chair of IBM Ginni Rometty on Thursday afternoon. Li lauded IBM's cooperation with China and highlighted the untapped potential of China's huge information technology industry. He urged IBM to make the most of the opportunities in China's high-tech sector, and encouraged the firm to explore research and development cooperation in more fields.

Jing Cao October 28, 2015. IBM agreed to acquire digital assets from Weather Co., which include the Weather Channel and Weather Underground apps and websites, attempting to strengthen its ability to crunch data for customers and capitalize on the so-called Internet of Things. The Weather Channel television property, which isn’t part of the acquisition, will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract, the Armonk, N.Y.-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed. Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty has been seeking to bolster IBM’s cloud and data analytics offerings, shifting from software sales and information-technology services amid a stock decline and multiyear revenue slump. The Weather Co. acquisition extends a bet that so-called cognitive computing by IBM’s Watson division, which draws insights from vast amounts of data, will drive future growth. IBM this year purchased Merge Healthcare for $1 billion to add medical imaging technology and data to the Watson Health Cloud business unit. Combining the technology and expertise from the two companies will serve as the foundation for the new Watson Internet of Things unit and cloud platform, IBM said. The Internet of Things refers to connecting everyday machines, such as home appliances, so people can control them with mobile devices. Weather Co.’s owners -- Blackstone Group LP, Bain Capital LLC and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal -- have been working with Morgan Stanley and PJT Partners Inc. to explore a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said in August. The three firms acquired the company for about $3.5 billion in 2008.

By STEVE LOHR NOV. 14, 2015 At IBM, Phil Gilbert is leading the company in the "design thinking" way, an approach to business that identifies users’ needs as a starting point and works toward the product. Credit Sandy Carson for The New York Times Mr. Gilbert, who is 59 years old, is not trying to redefine an entire generation. On the other hand, he wants to change the habits of a huge company as it tries to adjust to a new era, and that is no small task. … IBM has two dozen design studios worldwide. … Mr. Gilbert came back and said that to have an impact, IBM had to be prepared to hire and train 1,000 designers. Mr. Gilbert assumed that would be the end of the matter. But two weeks later, he got a call from Ms. Rometty. “Go,” she said, as he recalled. “And how fast can you go? How many can you hire in the first year?”

Dec 7, 2015 @ 07:00 AM 314 views Steve Morgan , Ginni Rometty, IBM Corp.’s Chairman, President and CEO, says that cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world. She is best known as head of one of the world’s largest and most prestigious corporations, but in cyber circles Rometty is best described as Commander-In-Chief and supreme leader of the world’s largest and most formidable security organization. IBM Security is a $1.5 billion business and partly the result of fifteen security acquisitions over the past decade. Rometty says the security business unit marshals the knowledge of 6,000 experts. IBM calls itself the third biggest security software player in the world. Research firm Gartner calls it the largest security vendor selling exclusively to enterprises. Marc van Zadelhoff, Vice President, Strategy and Product Management at IBM Security, has been promoted by Rometty’s executive staff. He will become General Manager at IBM Security in early 2016. van Zadelhoff was previously Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Consul Risk Management, a global IT security software provider, which was acquired by IBM in 2007. For the past 9 years, van Zadelhoff has worked in various strategic roles for IBM security brands. Brendan Hannigan, IBM Security’s General Manager for the past 4 years, is leaving to spend more time with his family, according to a source at IBM. Marc van Zadelhoff is excited about his new role. He views IBM Security as a startup with huge growth potential.

Mike Murphy December 09, 2015 On Nov. 8, IBM announced that IARPA, the intelligence community’s research arm, had awarded the company a multi-year grant to continue its research into building quantum computers.

December 10, 2015 IBM has acquired Clearleap, a provider of cloud-based video services. Clearleap will be integrated into the IBM Cloud platform to provide enterprises with a way to manage, monetize and grow user video experiences and deliver them securely over the web and mobile devices. Prior to the acquisition, Clearleap had raised a total of $43 million in VC funding, which includes a $25 million round early this year that valued it at $110 million.

Danny Palmer 15 Dec 2015 IBM has opened a brand new global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany in an effort to drive the innovation and development of connected devices and cognitive computing. Cognitive computing software uses natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence to collect and analyse unstructured data and help users make better informed decisions. "By bringing asset management and analytics together with a deep technical understanding of how buildings perform, Siemens will make customers' building operations more reliable, cost-optimised and sustainable," said CEO Matthias Rebellius. "We are excited to stretch the envelope of what is possible in optimising building performance by combining the asset management and database technologies from IBM's Watson IoT business unit with our market-leading building automation domain know-how," he added. … "The Internet of Things will soon be the largest single source of data on the planet, yet almost 90 percent of that data is never acted upon," said Harriet Green, general manager, Watson IoT and Education.

IBM Annual Report 2015 signed by Virginia M. Rometty. Revenue 2014/2015 in B$: 92.793/81.741. Net Income 2014/2015 in
B$: 12.022/13.190. EPS 2014/2015 in $: 16.53/14.92. Employees 2014/2015: 379.592/377.757. We shifted more than $5 billion of investment to add fuel to our strategic imperatives, and in 2015 these businesses delivered solid growth, contributing 35 percent of IBM’s total revenue, up significantly from 22 percent two years ago. Today, our data and analytics business is the industry leader, generating revenue of $18 billion in 2015. … That potential lies in the 80 percent of the world’s data that is unstructured. … This unstructured data has been essentially invisible to computers. They can capture, store and process it, but they cannot understand what it means. … Our strategic imperatives – Analytics, Cloud, Mobile, Social and Security – grew by 26 percent and generated $29 billion last year. As I mentioned, that represented 35 percent of IBM’s total revenue at year end. … Analytics revenue grew 16 percent for the year, to $18 billion. Mobile more than tripled for the second straight year. Security grew 12 percent. And Social was up 21 percent. Not only did total Cloud revenue increase by more than 50 percent, to $10 billion, making ours the largest cloud business in the world, but our cloud delivered as-a-service revenue continued to grow, reaching $4.5 billion in 2015, with a year-end annual run rate of $5.3 billion.