IBM has announced that Jim Whitehurst has decided to step down as President of the company just 14 months after joining in that role. Whitehurst has played a pivotal role in the $34 billion IBM and Red Hat integration announced in 2018. He will continue to work as senior advisor to Arvind Krishna, Chairman, and CEO, IBM.
- Announcement: On Friday, just in time to the Fourth of July weekend in the US, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna announced in a press release that Red Hat’s former CEO Jim Whitehurst is resigning from his role as president of IBM, a position he’s held for 14 months. No reason has been given for his departure.
- Forthcoming decision: “Jim has decided to step down as IBM President, however, I am pleased he will continue working as Senior Advisor for me and the rest of the Executive Leadership Team as we continue to evolve our business,” Krishna said in his statement.
- Instrumental manager: As CEO of Red Hat, Whitehurst was instrumental in putting together IBM’s $34 billion dollar purchase of the company he headed. He also appears to have been largely responsible for IBM’s decision to let Red Hat continue to operate as a stand-alone company instead of being swallowed to become just another IBM division.
- Pivotal role: “Jim Whitehurst has played a pivotal role in the IBM and Red Hat integration,” Krishna said. “In the almost three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM’s strategy, but also, in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology platforms and innovations provide more value to our clients.”
- Compensation package: As the second-highest employee at IBM, Whitehurst had a large compensation package that he will be stepping away from. Whitehurst’s salary at IBM was $1.2 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, he had been awarded IBM stock worth more than $18 million.