On Friday, IBM announced that Jim Whitehurst will be stepping down from his position as President of the company.
Jim Whitehurst was appointed President of the company in January of 2020 and before that, he played a fundamental role in the company’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat in 2019. Although Jim Whitehurst is stepping down as President, IBM failed to reveal when he would be stepping down and did not mention or hint at a replacement. The acquisition of open-source software company Red Hat is IBM’s largest acquisition ever and was made possible majorly because of Jim Whitehurst. Before he became President at IBM in January 2020, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RedHat from 2008 to 2020.
One thing that the company did mention was that he would continue to work in the company as a senior adviser to the company’s Chief Executive Officer – Arvind Krishna and the executive leadership team.
The acquisition of Red Hat was a key strategy aimed at expanding and providing more products that companies could deploy in their own data centres.
IBM has been going through series of restructuring after the incumbent CEO took his position. The company has been shifting its position to focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Computing. When IBM announced its acquisition of Red Hat last year, the company said in its announcement that Arvind Krishna who had just taken over as CEO from Ginni Rometty was also a “principal architect” of the Red Hat deal. Jim Whitehurst also received accolades for the major role he played in the deal. He was appointed as IBM’s President shortly after the deal and according to the company “during his tenure at Red Hat, revenue grew over eight times and market capitalization by more than ten times”.
Red Hat’s revenue grew by 17 percent in the first quarter of this year while IBM’s grew by 1 percent.
IBM shares were down almost 3 percent in early trading on Friday.