IBM Names First Female Chief Exec

    FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2006 file photo, IBM Senior Vice President Virginia Rometty speaks in New York. IBM on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 announced that Rometty will succeed outgoing CEO Samuel Palmisano, who is retiring after reaching traditional retirement age of 60, effective Jan. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)

    Dima Gavrysh, File / AP Photo

    IBM has appointed Virginia Rometty, the company’s current head of global sales and senior vice president, to be chief executive in 2012, making her the first woman ever to lead the legendary U.S. computer technology company. Rometty, 54, will take over for Sam Palmisano on Jan. 1, who will remain chairman of the board of directors after heading the company for more than a decade. Rometty's new role at IBM makes it the largest U.S. corporation by market value to be headed by a woman. (IBM is also known for its eco-friendliness, coming in at No. 1 on Newsweek's 2011 green rankings.) She joins a select group of women at the helm of U.S. tech companies, including Meg Whitman, the former head of eBay who was recently named CEO at IBM’s biggest rival, Hewlett-Packard.

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