Who is Arvind Krishna? Little-known facts about IBM's new CEO
After Alphabet and Microsoft, International Business Machines (IBM) has decided to bring an Indian-origin Chief Executive. The iconic technology company has announced that Arvind Krishna, the head of its cloud and cognitive-software efforts, will be taking over as the CEO from April 6, replacing Virginia Rometty, who had held the top spot for the last eight years. Here are some little-known facts about Krishna.
With roots in India, Krishna did his schooling from St Joseph's Academy, Dehradun, and graduated from IIT Kanpur. Then, he moved abroad, obtained a PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and joined IBM's Watson Research team in 1990. There, he worked on Security/Tivoli products, Database/Warehouse products and rose through the ranks over the next three decades.
Throughout his career at IBM, Krishna assumed various roles and positions. This included serving as the General Manager of IBM's information management software and systems and technology group as well as the Senior VP for hybrid cloud & Director of Research. Before becoming the CEO, he was the Senior VP for cloud and cognitive software, managing IBM's Cloud platform, Security, and Cognitive Application business.
Krishna oversaw the cloud and cognitive software business for little over a year but contributed significantly to its development. In fact, in the fourth quarter, the revenue from the business grew by 9% year-over-year.
Krishna's work has led to the development of various technologies at IBM, including AI, cloud, quantum computing, and blockchain efforts. He has co-authored 15 patents and has been described as a "brilliant technologist" and "value-driven leader" by outgoing CEO Rometty. Notably, Krishna was also credited as the 'principal architect' of IBM's $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, the largest acquisition in the company's history.
Krishna's promotion to the CEO's spot adds another Indian-origin name to the list of leaders at the helm, leading technology and multinational companies around the world. Currently, the elite club includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo's former CEO Indra Nooyi, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri, and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.