Palmisano will stay on as Chairman of the Board.
Rometty is a 30-year IBM vet who who oversaw the company’s $3.5 billion purchase and integration of consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers back in 2003. She’s been the VP of sales, marketing, and strategy since 2009.
Palmisano has led IBM since 2002, and oversaw its spin-off of its PC unit to Lenovo as well as a number of acquisitions that helped the company return to a very predictable growth pattern — so predictable that IBM offered up a five-year earnings plan back in 2010.
Rometty is one of a very small number of female CEOs in the male-dominated tech industry, including Meg Whitman (who took over as HP’s CEO earlier this month) and Ursula Burns of Xerox.