Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst resigns as IBM president

Almost three years after Red Hat's integration into IBM, Jim Whitehurst recently announced that he has made the decision to step down as IBM presidentHowever, he will continue to serve as a senior advisor to Managing Director Arvind Krishna and the rest of the management team.

IBM announced that Jim Whitehurst, who came under the Red Hat deal, would step down as company president just 14 months after taking office. IBM did not elaborate on the reasons for its departure, but recognized its key role in running the Red Hat 2018 operation, worth $ 34 billion, and bringing the two companies together after the transaction is concluded.

"Jim has been instrumental in shaping IBM's strategy, but also in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology platforms and innovations deliver more value to our customers," the company said.

Jim expressed his willingness to continue participating in the development of IBM's business as a senior advisor to Krishna, but already as an advisor to IBM management. It should be noted that after the announcement of the departure of Jim Whitehurst, IBM shares fell in price by 4,6%:

“In the nearly three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM's strategy, but also in shaping IBM's strategy. Ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology, platforms and innovations deliver more value to our customers, ”writes Krishna.

From 2008 to 2019, Whitehurst served as CEO (CEO) by Red Hat and after completing Red Hat's integration with IBM in 2019, he became vice president of IBM and head of the division to which Red Hat relocated. In January 2020, Whitehurst was appointed by the board of directors as president of IBM. Under Whitehurst's leadership, Red Hat's revenue has increased eightfold and market capitalization has increased tenfold.

When IBM bought Red Hat in 2018 for $ 34 billion, it led to a series of cascading changes at both companies, as first, Ginni Rometty resigned as IBM CEO and Arvind Krishna took over y al same time, Jim Whitehurst, formerly CEO of Red Hat, se moved to IBM as president and longtime employee Paul Cormier took over.

At the same time, the company also announced other changes, including the one that longtime IBM executive Bridget van Kralingen announced that she, too, would be stepping down as senior vice president of global markets. Rob Thomas, who was senior vice president of IBM Cloud and Data Platform, will replace Van Kraligen.

“Either way, this departure leaves a huge void in Krishna's leadership team as they strive to transform the company into a predominantly hybrid cloud-powered enterprise. Clearly, Whitehurst was able to help drive this change with his extensive industry knowledge and credibility with the open source community since he was at Red Hat. 

With these changes, I am confident that IBM will be in a stronger position to help our clients and our business prosper. I look forward to continuing the critical work we do for business and society around the world with this exceptional leadership team, ”writes Krishna.

But one wonders why he is leaving his post after such a short time and what he plans to do next. Often after a transaction of this magnitude is concluded, there is an agreement on the mandate of the key executives. It could be that this period has expired and Whitehurst wants to move on, but some considered him the heir apparent to Krishna and his departure comes as a surprise when considered in this context.

Last It is worth mentioning that so far IBM has not announced a replacement. If you want to know more about it, you can consult the details in the following link.

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