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May 15, 2017

Bill Kelleher named IBM CEO in UK & Ireland

The new chief exec will officially take over from David Stokes at the end of May.

By Ellie Burns

Bill Kelleher has been appointed as IBM CEO in the UK & Ireland, with former chief exec David Stokes stepping into a new role as Chief Operating Officer for IBM Europe.

Mr Kelleher has a 20-year strong history with Big Blue, joining the tech giant following the acquisition of Data Sciences Limited over two decades ago.

The new IBM CEO for UK&I has held a number of executive and leadership roles in his time at the company, primarily operating in market facing roles. These included strategic client leadership, Vice President for the European Communications Sector,  Vice President for the Small & Medium Business Sector and multiple Vice President and General Manager roles across IBM’s Global Services businesses. Most recently, Mr Kelleher was IBM’s Global Managing Director for the Telecom, Media & Entertainment Industry.

Signalling an end to the four-year tenure of David Stokes, Mr Kelleher will take over as chief exec on 22nd May 2017.

READ MORE: IBM Cloud claims AI & deep learning performance wins

IBM will be hoping that Mr Kelleher can lead a change in fortunes for the company, with Big Blue looking to bounce back from its 20th consecutive quarter of revenue decline in Q1. Gains in Watson and cloud were not enough to save IBM from a drop in revenue to $18.2bn, down from $18.7bn for the same period a year ago.

The disappointing Q1 was followed by a loss in confidence from Warren Buffet, one of Big Blue’s biggest investors. Mr Buffet’s company Berkshire Hathaway sold a third of its massive stake in Big Blue, with the renowned investor telling CNBC:

“IBM is a big strong company, but they’ve got big strong competitors too.”

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“I don’t value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying. . . I’ve revalued it somewhat downward,” he said.

However, IBM is looking to fend off those rivals, with some big investments in the cloud space. Last month IBM announced the opening of four new cloud data centres in the US, which was followed by news that the company is set to buy Verizon’s cloud and hosting service. The deal is expected to be completed later this year, though the terms of the cloud and hosting service deal have not been made public.

Additionally, both Verizon and IBM have agreed to work on “strategic initiatives involving networking and cloud services.”


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