Ginni Rometty is an American business executive. She is the current chair, president, and CEO of IBM, and the first woman to head the company. Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012, she first joined IBM as a systems engineer in 1981 and subsequently headed global sales, marketing, and strategy. While general manager of IBM’s global services division, in 2002 she helped negotiate IBM’s purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers IT consulting business, becoming known for her work integrating the two companies. Since becoming CEO, she has focused IBM on analytics, cloud computing, and cognitive computing systems.
Early life and education
Ginni Rometty was born on July 29, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois, as Virginia Marie Nicosia. Growing up outside Chicago, she was the eldest of four children in an Italian-American family. Her parents divorced and her father left when she was fifteen years old, and her mother subsequently took on multiple jobs to support the family while Rometty looked after the household in the evenings.
She began attending Northwestern University in Illinois in 1975 on a scholarship from General Motors, where she interned between her junior and senior years. Rometty was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, eventually serving as its president. Likewise, she graduated with high honours from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University since 1979, receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering. She has received honorary doctoral degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (since 2014) and Northwestern University (2015).
After graduation in 1979, Rometty went to work for General Motors Institute in Flint, where she was responsible for application and systems development. Since 1981 she joined IBM as a systems analyst and systems engineer in Detroit. Further, initially working with clients in the insurance industry, she spent her first ten years at IBM in technical positions. The New York Times writes that she “quickly moved up to a series of management jobs. Moreover, there she worked with clients in insurance, banking, telecommunications, manufacturing and health care. Additionally, she spent the 1990s working in sales, and by the late 1990s was helping clients such as Prudential Financial, Inc. with their internet features. She joined IBM’s Consulting Group in 1991.
Virginia Nicosia married Mark Anthony Rometty, a private-equity investor, in 1979. With no children, the couple divides their time between New York and Bonita Springs, Florida. She goes to Broadway shows and participates in scuba diving as a hobby. In 2014 Rometty became the third female member of the Augusta National Golf Club, following the lead of Condoleezza Rice.
- Full Name: Virginia Marie Rometty
- Date of Birth: July 29, 1957
- Age: 62 years
- Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Salary: US$32.7 million (since 2016)
- Spouse: Mark Anthony Rometty
- Occupation: Chairman, president, and CEO of IBM
- Education: Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern
- Predecessor: Samuel J. Palmisano
- Siblings: Joe Nicosia
- Net Worth: $90 million
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