Arvind Krishna to lead IBM, joins the club of global Indian CEOs

BENGALURU IBM has just been added to the list of executives of Indian origin who lead some of the world's leading technology companies.

The former IIT-Kanpur student will lead the 108-year-old US company, which recorded annual revenues of $ 80 billion in 2018, from April 6, when CEO Virginia Rometty resigns that position. The price of the company's shares, which has been declining since 2013 with the exception of occasional peaks, increased 5% in the opening of operations in the US. UU. After the announcement

CEOs of Indian origin now lead technology companies that together have a market capitalization of nearly $ 2.7 billion. These include Microsoft, from Alphabet/Google, Shantanu Narayen from Adobe, Sanjay Mehrotra from, Nikesh Arora from Palo Alto Networks and George Kurian from NetApp.

Krishna, 57, is of an Indian Army officer, joined IBM in 1990, right after university, and is currently its senior vice president for cloud and cognitive software, two of the company’s biggest focus areas. I have led the company's $ 34-billion acquisition of software company Red Hat in 2018, a deal that was the biggest in IBM’s history, and on which a lot of IBM’s future rides.

Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM, said Rometty. He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain.

Many would be watching to see whether he can do for IBM what Nadella did for Microsoft. IBM’s annual revenue fell steadily for many years from 2011, when it had touched a high of $ 107 billion, and has risen only slightly in the past couple of years. It was weighed down by its legacy businesses, and could not transition to newer digital offerings with as much agility as younger companies like Amazon and Google. Nadella rejuvenated Microsoft with his focus on the cloud and partnerships with companies that were once considered as competitors.

In IBM’s case, analysts remain divided on whether it can pull itself up in a sustainable way. The company’s decision to repose faith in a man who has been a researcher and core to IBM’s new-age offerings in cloud and AI has raised hopes. Krishna hold 15 patents, and perhaps because of his research focus, has been relatively low-profile.

Rometty described Krishna as a superb operational leader, “able to win today while building the business of tomorrow.” Arvind, she said, has grown IBM's cloud and cognitive software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history. “Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results, and is an authentic, values-driven leader. He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era, she said.

Alex Gorsky, chairman of the Board of Executive Resources and Executive Compensation Committee, said Krishna thinks and executes directly at the intersection of business and technology.

Following the history of CEOs of Indian origin, there is a good chance that Krishna will succeed. Nadella, Pichai, Narayen, Mehrotra, Arora and Kurian have produced excellent results as CEO so far.