The shares of the International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) surged in Thursday's after-hours session as the company announced changes in top management.
Ginni Rometty, who took over as the IBM CEO in 2011, is stepping down from the role, the company said in a statement Thursday.
Arvind Krishna, who leads the company's cloud and data platform, will be her replacement, and take charge on April 6.
Rometty will continue to serve as the Executive Chairman of IBM until the end of 2020 when she retires altogether from the company she joined as a systems analyst four decades ago.
James Whitehurst, the CEO of Red Hat, Inc., a software firm acquired by IBM in July last year, will take over as the IBM President on the same date.
Ushering In The Next Era
The change at the top comes as IBM tries to keep up with technological advancements. The technology veteran trails in its cloud business, after making a late entry into a field already dominated by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).
The company made a prompt entry into the blockchain space, becoming one of the earliest members of the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger project.
"Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM," said Rometty. "He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain."
Krishna is said to have played a key role in the acquisition of Red Hat, a company that adds significant value to IBM's cloud ambitions.
IBM's shares traded 4.64% higher at $143.11. The shares closed the regular session 0.67% lower $136.77.