chief Virginia Rometty is set to become one of the most powerful women in corporate America after being appointed to replace Sam Palmisano as CEO on January 1. Rometty, who has been at IBM for almost 30 years, made her mark when she led the 2002 integration
software and services organizations and capturing cost synergies. The company has made about 50 software acquisitions during Sam Palmisano 's tenure as CEO and has expanded sales by 37% and pretax margins from 22% to in excess of 33% over the past four years
primarily because of macroeconomic issues and sickly IT spending, but margins held up rather nicely. This suggests to us that IBM's competitive position remains strong, and that Sam Palmisano 's cost-cutting program is taking hold.