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Jim Whitehurst Leaves IBM

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Red Hat
  • IBM Leadership Changes

    Jim Whitehurst has played a pivotal role in the IBM and Red Hat integration. In the almost three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM’s strategy, but also, in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology platforms and innovations provide more value to our clients. Jim has decided to step down as IBM President, however I am pleased he will continue working as Senior Advisor to me and the rest of the Executive Leadership Team as we continue to evolve our business.

  • Red Hat leader Jim Whitehurst steps down as IBM President

    Under Whitehurst, Red Hat became a billion-dollar company and was acquired by IBM. He then moved up to become IBM's President to lead IBM's cloud efforts. Now, out of the blue, Whitehurst is stepping down as IBM's leader.

Jim Whitehurst Steps Down

  • Jim Whitehurst Steps Down As IBM President

    In a surprise move, Jim Whitehurst has decided to step down as IBM’s president just 14 months after taking the role through the $34-billion Red Hat acquisition.

    Whitehurst has played a critical role in the IBM and Red Hat integration.

    “In the almost three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM’s strategy, but also, in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology platforms and innovations provide more value to our clients,” Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM, said in a statement.

IBM President and former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst quits

  • IBM President and former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst quits

    Former president and CEO of Red Hat, Jim Whitehurst, is quitting the biz less than two years after rocking up at Big Blue, the hard-pressed business claimed today.

    "Our hybrid cloud and AI strategy is strongly resonating with clients," intoned CEO Arvind Krishna in a blog post. Maybe not so much for Whitehurst, it appears, as the ex-Red Hatter is stepping down with immediate effect, although he will remain on hand as a senior advisor to Krishna and his other generals.

    The CEO said Whitehurst had "played a pivotal role in the IBM and Red Hat integration" and was "instrumental in articulating IBM’s strategy" but alas "Jim has decided to step down".

    The move comes more months after Whitehurst was named one of the big winners in the IBM pay award contest, trousering a compensation package worth a handsome $27.2m, including $1.1m in salary and $22.4m in stock awards, with an additional $1.5m in a non-equity incentive plan and $130,562 for all other compensation.

    Whitehurst was also to be paid up to $6m in a cash retention payment, and got the first installment in July 2020. The second was due this month and the third in July 2022. The payments were based on criteria including hitting financial targets. The Register has contacted IBM to find out if this retention payment will still be made, and will update if there is a response.

    Whitehurst was CEO of Red Hat when IBM chowed down on the Linux business for an eyewatering $34bn in 2018. He'd been with the company for more than 12 years and was succeeded as CEO by Red Hat veteran Paul Cormier in 2020. His tenure as IBM President has been considerably shorter.

Former Red CEO Jim Whitehurst Steps Down from Role...

Whitehurst Remains involved

  • IBM chief Arvind Krishna cements his position as heir apparent quits

    The executive widely seen as heir apparent at IBM has stepped down in a broad management shake-up, as the US computer maker’s board threw its backing behind current chief executive Arvind Krishna to complete an attempted overhaul.

    Jim Whitehurst, the former chief executive of Red Hat, had been put in pole position to take the top job after IBM agreed to pay $37bn for the open source software company in 2017. He was later named IBM’s president, a title the company usually reserves for its next CEO.

    The news of his departure wiped 4 per cent from IBM’s stock price on Friday. However, Krishna, who had been seen by many on Wall Street as a transitional chief executive, painted the move as a doubling-down on IBM’s current path under his leadership.


    IBM is making a rare senior hire from outside the company, on Friday announcing the appointment of former Hewlett Packard Enterprise executive Ric Lewis as head of IBM’s systems division, including its mainframe operations.

    IBM executives who are on the rise as part of the reshuffle include Rob Thomas, head of cloud and data platform operations, who takes over as the company’s top sales and marketing executive. Tom Rosamilia, previously head of systems, was named to run the company’s cloud and cognitive systems division, which plays a central role in the effort to carve out a position for IBM in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

    The management revamp announced on Friday was designed to make the company “much more execution focused and much more technology focused,” Krishna said.

    He added that Whitehurst had agreed to continue as an adviser and was not leaving to take a job at another company. “He’s being very gracious. He’s not going anywhere right now,” Krishna said.

  • IBM CEO's risky move: Wall Street frowns on Whitehurst departure – stock drops 10% | WRAL TechWire
  • Jim Whitehurst’s Sudden Exit As IBM President Raises Red Hat Red Flags: Partners

    Here is a look at how IBM partners are reacting to the sudden exit of former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst as president of IBM.

  • Jim Whitehurst and Bridget van Kralingen are out in an IBM leadership shakeup - Protocol — The people, power and politics of tech

    IBM President Jim Whitehurst is stepping down from the No. 2 leadership position at the company less than three years after IBM acquired his former company, in just one of several leadership changes announced Friday.Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global markets, will also leave...

IBM-funded publisher on IBM amid disarray

  • With Whitehurst stepping down, where do IBM and Red Hat go from here?

    After IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in October 2019 and then Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst was named IBM's President three months later, most IBM and Red Hat analysts assumed it was only a matter of time before Whitehurst would take over the top job of IBM CEO. We were wrong.

Whitehurst, stepping down from IBM, wants to be a CEO again

  • Whitehurst, stepping down from IBM, wants to be a CEO again

    IBM announced the departure of president Jim Whitehurst last week, with scant details about the decision or the move.

    Whitehurst, who led Red Hat from December 2007 through the acquisition of the open-source software company in a $34 billion deal with IBM, told Barron’s that he wants another chance to be CEO, but it wasn’t going to happen at IBM.

    In the Barron’s interview, Whitehurst noted that he, 54, and Krishna, 59, are too close in age for that to work out, adding that he knew his tenure at IBM was likely to be short when the board of directors chose Krishna, a 30-year IBM veteran, as CEO.

    Whitehurst told Barron’s that he knew that his time at IBM was likely to be short when the board chose the 30-year IBM veteran Krishna as CEO. Whitehurst had been widely considered a candidate to succeed Rometty, and WRAL TechWire’s The Skinny blog had Whitehurst as a top candidate for the role of CEO at the time of the acquisition of Red Hat by IBM.

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