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What just happened? IBM has announced a series of leadership changes that’ll impact the company effective immediately. The biggest revelation is the departure of Jim Whitehurst as IBM president after just 14 months on the job.
Whitehurst got involved with Big Blue in late 2018 when it was announced that IBM would be acquiring Red Hat, where Whitehurst had served as CEO since 2007, for $34 billion. The deal was wrapped up the following year, and in early 2020 it was revealed that Whitehurst would be appointed president of IBM in April.
IBM on Friday said the executive, who previously served as chief operating officer for Delta Air Lines, has decided to step down but will still serve as a senior advisor to CEO Arvind Krishna moving forward. No reason was given for the sudden change, and IBM didn’t announce a replacement.
Jim Whitehurst. Photo courtesy David Morris, Bloomberg.
In related news, IBM also announced that Bridget van Kralingen has decided to step down from her position as senior vice president of global markets. She is sticking around as SVP of special projects for a period of one year, and will retire after that. Rob Thomas will replace van Kralingen as SVP of global markets, we’re told.
IBM isn't the only tech company making major leadership changes. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of the e-commerce giant on Monday, July 5. He is being replaced by AWS boss Andy Jassy.
Masthead credit: Laborant