McCormick Alumna Ginni Rometty Named Most Powerful Woman in Business

IBM CEO Tops Fortune Magazine List

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, IBM’s CEO and a McCormick alumna, is the most powerful woman in the business world, according to Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.”

Ginni Rometty“A 31-year IBM veteran, Rometty has been a key supporting player in some of Big Blue's biggest transformations: She managed the $3.5 billion PwC Consulting acquisition that launched IBM in the services business, and with chairman Sam Palmisano worked to develop the five-year growth plan. As CEO, she's now in charge of delivering on it,” the article states.

Rometty, 55, was named chief executive of IBM in October 2011; she previously served as IBM’s senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing, and strategy.

“When Rometty (pronounced RAH-metty) became IBM's ninth CEO — and its first woman chief executive — she took control of the 19th-largest company in the world by revenue (2011 sales surpassed $107 billion) and, at presstime, the fifth largest by valuation, with a market cap of $235 billion,” according to Fortune.

Rometty graduated from Northwestern in 1979 with a degree in computer science. She remains a dedicated supporter of the University and sits on its Board of Trustees. She returned to speak at McCormick’s undergraduate convocation in June 2010.

"I never would have guessed," she told the audience, "when I was sitting where you're sitting now, that I would be fortunate enough to meet with hundreds of corporate and government leaders every year, travel millions of miles, and now help lead an organization with revenues that are higher than the GDP of three-quarters of the countries in the world. Much of what I have accomplished I owe to this great institution."

Read Fortune magazine’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.”