IBM CEO Virginia M. Rometty elected chairman of the board

CEO Virginia M. Rometty's role at IBM expands as she takes on the role of chairman of the board.

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IBM's chief executive officer and president Virginia M. Rometty has been elected chairman of the board, effective October 1.

The 55-year old executive succeeds Samuel J. Palmisano, who is stepping down from the board next Monday. Palmisano will be named as a senior adviser to IBM until his retirement on December 1, 2012.

Palmisano was named IBM's CEO in 2002, followed up by his election to chairman of the board in 2003. It was during his tenure that IBM stepped away from developing PCs, printers and hard drives to focusing on software and analytics.

Rometty, who is IBM's ninth CEO, had also previously succeeded Palmisano earlier this year when she became chief executive officer on January 1.

When she was named CEO last October, Rometty remarked that IBM would stay on its current course with a planned roadmap through 2015.

Thus, with this development, it looks like IBM's top-tier leadership succession plan is complete for the next few years as Big Blue continues to focus on the cloud, analytics, software, and research and development.

Rometty became a director at IBM after holding senior leadership positions in IBM's services, sales, strategy and marketing units.

She also led the integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, which IBM describes as the largest acquisition in professional services history, involving more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts.

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