IBM, long seen as a slow-moving boys’ club, has named its first female CEO. Global sales head Virginia Rometty will take over from Sam Palmisano in January, making IBM the highest-valued US corporation run by a woman, Reuters reports. Industry and Wall Street observers applauded the decision, which retains Palmisano as chairman. “Given Ginni's experience running the largest portion of the business by revenue, she was a logical choice,” said an analyst.
Rometty “exudes energy” and “thinks in a very analytical way,” says a business school professor who has long known her. Her accomplishments include integrating PriceWaterhouseCooper’s consulting business into IBM as well as pushing the firm to get involved in business analytics. “All the public knowledge about her performance is very encouraging,” says another analyst. But there’s a downside for her employees, says a former IBM exec: “People who work for her just don't sleep.”