IBM President Jim Whitehurst resigns after Red Hat deal


Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Redhat and Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM discuss the acquisition of Redhat by IBM.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

IBM stock fell more than 4% on Friday after the enterprise software and hardware maker mentionned that its president, Jim Whitehurst, chose to step down.

Whitehurst arrived in 2019 with the $ 34 billion acquisition of open source software company Red Hat, IBM’s largest acquisition to date, which closed in mid-2019. He was president and CEO of Red Hat from 2008 until April 2020, when he became president of IBM.

The move reflects a new challenge for IBM, which continued to grow in part by focusing on deploying Red Hat products across multiple clouds, including leading vendors such as Amazon and Microsoft. Prior to the deal, IBM was promoting its own public cloud infrastructure to customers, in addition to selling products that companies could deploy in their own data centers.

Arvind Krishna, who replaced IBM CEO Ginni Rometty last year, was “a lead architect” of the Red Hat deal, IBM said last year in the ad about the promotion of Whitehurst. The company praised Whitehurst for his execution. “During his tenure at Red Hat, revenues grew eightfold and market capitalization more than tenfold,” said IBM.

In the first quarter, Red Hat’s revenue grew 17%, while IBM as a whole grew 1%.

Correction: Whitehurst arrived at IBM in 2019.

LOOK: IBM CEO Arvind Krishna on the company’s “hybrid cloud” strategy

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