The IBM board of directors has elected Virginia M. Rometty president and chief executive officer of the company, effective January 1, 2012. She succeeds IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer Samuel J. Palmisano, who will remain chairman of the board.

Rometty is currently IBM senior vice president and group executive for sales, marketing and strategy, where she is accountable for revenue, profit, and client satisfaction in the 170 global markets in which IBM does business. She is responsible for IBM’s worldwide results, which exceeded $99 billion in 2010, and for leading IBM’s global strategy, marketing and communications functions.

She previously was senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, in which role she led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. Rometty has also served as general manager of IBM Global Services, Americas, and of IBM’s Global Insurance and Financial Services Sector since joining the company in 1981 as a systems engineer.

Related link:

IBM statement –

Photo shows Samuel J. Palmisano, left, and Virginia M. Rometty