Arvind Krishna , CEO of IBM
Indian professionals continue to make their mark on the top echelons of the world's tech companies. The latest one is Arvind Krishna taking up his post in April 2020 as the new CEO of IBM.
IBM may longer be a household name in your local techie store, but its work on the high end IT-based in 177 countries brings in a net income of over $9 billion annually,
Arvind Krishna follows the likes of other Silicon Valley icons with an Indian benchmark. The most notable being Sundar Pichai of Google and Alphabet, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Shantanu Narayen of Adobe. They all come from South India and educated at Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)
A devoted IBM insider, Krishna currently leads the business unit that provides the cloud and data platform on which the company's clients build the future. He made his mark when he struck a deal with Red Hat for $34 billion, which is IBM's biggest purchase so far.
Born in Andhra Pradesh, Krishna joined IBM back in 1990. He graduated from one of India's elite engineering colleges, IIT Kanpur and then a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of multiple distinguished alumni awards and the co-author of 15 patents.
Previously, he was general manager of IBM Systems and Technology Group's development and manufacturing organization, responsible for developing and engineering advanced semiconductor materials through microprocessors, servers, and storage systems.
Before that, Arvind was general manager of IBM Information Management, which included database, information integration, and big data software solutions. He served as vice president of strategy for IBM Software. He also held several key technical roles in IBM Software and IBM Research, where he pioneered IBM's security software business.
Shares in IBM Corp rose by almost 4% when Krishna's promotion was announced. His predecessor Ginni Rometty said Krishna is "brilliant technologist" who has played a vital role in the development of its artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain services.
"Arvind has grown IBM's Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history," Rometty said. "Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results and is an authentic, values-driven leader. He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era."
Much like Krishna, other notable names from South India who are heading the multinational tech companies are Sundar Pichai, who recently became the CEO of Alphabet, adding to his CEO's position at Google. He is from Tamil Nadu, and his alma mater includes IIT Kharagpur, Stanford University, and The Wharton School.
Satya Nadella, the CEO at Microsoft, is from Hyderabad. He took the role in 2014. He obtained his Bachelors in Engineering at the Manipal Institute of Technology. Later, he moved to the USA to study at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Chicago.
Shantanu Narayen is the CEO of Adobe, who took office in 2007. He was also born in Hyderabad and then studied in a local school, before moving to the Osmania University for his engineering. From there, he moved to the US for higher education and studied at the University of California and the Bowling Green State University before joining Apple in his first job.