IBM shares tumbled nearly 5% on the news of the president stepping down.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

July 2, 2021

3 Min Read
Shake-up, reorganization

In a surprise move, IBM president Jim Whitehurst, who previously helmed Red Hat, is stepping down.

Arvind Krishna, IBM‘s chairman and CEO, confirmed the news in a blog. Moreover, he outlined numerous IBM leadership team changes effective immediately.


IBM’s Jim Whitehurst

IBM shares were down nearly 5% as of 12:30 p.m. ET on the news of Whitehurst stepping down.

IBM announced Whitehurst’s CEO appointment in January of last year. Before that, he was senior vice president at IBM, and Red Hat’s president and CEO. That was the same time Ginny Rometty, former IBM chairman, president and CEO, announced she was stepping down.

Instrumental in IBM and Red Hat Integration

Krishna said Whitehurst has played a pivotal role in the IBM and Red Hat integration. IBM completed its acquisition of Red Hat in July 2019.

Whitehurst was Red Hat’s president and CEO for more than 12 years.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in June.


IBM’s Arvind Krishna

“In the almost three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM’s strategy, but also, in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together, and that our technology platforms and innovations provide more value to our clients,” Krishna said.

Whitehurst will continue working as senior adviser to Krishna and the rest of the executive leadership team.

IBM hasn’t named a new president or announced a search for Whitehurst’s replacement.

More Leadership Changes

Other leadership changes include:

  • Bridget van Kralingen is stepping down from her role as senior vice president of global markets. She will remain senior vice president of special projects for a year, then will retire from IBM. Rob Thomas will replace van Kralingen as senior vice president of global markets. He previously was senior vice president of software, cloud and data platform.

  • Tom Rosamilia will become senior vice president of cloud and cognitive software. He’s been serving as senior vice president of IBM systems. Ric Lewis will take Rosamilia’s previous role. He previous was Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE)’s senior vice president and general manager of software defined and cloud group.

  • Kelly Chambliss has been promoted to senior vice president, Americas and strategic sales, global business services.

  • Roger Premo will lead a newly constituted business development team.

  • Bob Lord will continue in his role as senior vice president of worldwide ecosystems.

“Our hybrid cloud and AI strategy is strongly resonating with clients,” Krishna said. “I believe we are at a watershed moment in our journey. As the world begins to reopen, IBM has a unique opportunity to be positioned for a new and exciting era of growth, continue to accelerate the rate and pace of execution of our strategy, and strengthen our client-centric culture and our ability to provide technical expertise.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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