IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Interview

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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on what it was like when she joined IBM 35 years ago

“What struck me was the seriousness of the kind of things we did. We were building complex back-office banking systems. We were rolling out ATMs. That, to me, is true to this day about IBM. It lives at this intersection of inventing great technology but, more importantly, applying it.”

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on why IBM almost went bankrupt in the 1990’s

“We stayed too long in one era and had to reinvent ourselves, which, by the way, wasn’t the first time. We’re the only tech company that is 105 years old, the only one that has transformed multiple times. IBM existed a good 50 years before mainframes—we started with scales. To this day, mainframes are still here. They’ve been reinvented, and they’re still 10 percent of our business. They run airline systems. They settle currency exchanges.”

On the company’s current transition

“Typically, when there’s been a transition time in our industry, it’s been driven by one big change. This time there were multiple changes—data, cloud, mobility—all happening at once, and that accelerated the change both for us and our customers.  On my first official day, at 7 a.m., I went to our primary research lab in Yorktown Heights New York and broadcast to all of IBM from there. We are still the largest commercial research organization in the world. There are 12 labs around the world, more than 3,000 researchers. Last I checked, we take 10 percent of the world’s Ph.D.s in math. I said there will be a new way of computing, and it’s going to be driven by this huge amount of data. It’s going to transform industries, and it will change the way the IBMer works.”


Source: Bloomberg Interview