New York– Indian-American Arvind Krishna will take over as the CEO of IBM — the world’s oldest technology company that began operations in 1911 — as long-serving Virginia ‘Ginni’ Rometty has decided to retire, the company announced on Friday.

Currently working as IBM’s Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software and touted as principal architect of the company’s $34 billion acquisition of open source software giant Red Hat, Krishna will also be a member of the Board of Directors, effective from April 6.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM. 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,” said 62-year-old Rometty.

Krishna earned an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined IBM in 1990.

“Krishna is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow. He has grown IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company’s history,” Rometty added.

Krishna, 57, leads the IBM business unit that provides the cloud and data platform on which clients build the future. His current responsibilities also include the IBM Cloud, IBM Security and Cognitive Applications business, and IBM Research.

Previously, he was general manager of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group’s development and manufacturing organization. Prior to that, he built and led many of IBM’s data-related businesses.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be elected as the next Chief Executive Officer of IBM, and appreciate the confidence that Ginni and the Board have placed in me,” said Krishna.

“I am looking forward to working with IBMers, Red Hatters and clients around the world at this unique time of fast-paced change in the IT industry,” he added.

The company also announced that James Whitehurst, IBM Senior Vice President and CEO of Red Hat, will now be IBM President, effective April 6.

“In Arvind and Jim, the Board has elected a proven technical and business-savvy leadership team,” said Rometty, who will continue as Executive Chairman of the Board and serve through the end of the year, when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company.

Rometty became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM in 2012.

During her tenure she made bold changes to reposition IBM for the future, investing in high value segments of the IT market and optimizing the company’s portfolio.

Under Rometty’s leadership, IBM acquired 65 companies, built out key capabilities in hybrid cloud, security, industry and data, and AI both organically and inorganically, and successfully completed one of the largest technology acquisitions in history.

Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world’s largest employers, with over 350,000 employees, known as IBMers.

At least 70 per cent of IBMers are based outside the US, and the country with the largest number of IBMers is India. (IANS)