IBM’s Rometty Becomes First Woman Chairman Monday

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By David Zielenziger | September 28, 2012 5:04 AM EST

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), where Virginia Rometty became its first woman CEO on Jan. 1, will promote her to chairman on Monday, when current Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano retires.

Rometty, 55, will become the first woman chairman of IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., in its 101-year history, when Palmisano, 61, retires as Chairman and director to become a “senior adviser” to the company. IBM is the No. 2 computer maker.

The promotion will make Rometty perhaps the top-ranked woman in U.S. technology. At the biggest computer maker, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), CEO Margaret (Meg) Whitman, 56, reports to Chairman Ray Lane, 65. At Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), new CEO Marissa Mayer, 38, reports to Chairman Fred Amoroso, 62, a onetime IBM senior manager.

IBM has two other women on its board: Joan Spero, 67, a former executive VP of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), and Shirley Ann Jackson, 65, a physicist and president of Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute.

IBM shares rose $2.61 to $206.59 in late Thursday trading.

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