Arvind Krishna Takes Over As The CEO of IBM — Betting Big On Cloud & AI

Arvind Krishna IBM

As Arvind Krishna takes over the leadership charge of IBM as the CEO, he posted a letter on LinkedIn to IBMers — “My first day as CEO – our journey together” about the public health crisis, IBM’s essential role in the world, and his commitments as the new CEO of IBM.

In the letter, Krishna wrote about how the employees should take care of themselves in this vulnerable time, alongside also stating that he wants the company to add a more significant presence in the hybrid-cloud space to its already established positions in the mainframe, services, and middleware ecosystem.

“The fundamentals are already in place,” wrote Krishna. “Our approach to hybrid cloud is the most flexible and the most cost-effective for our clients in the long term. Coupled with our deep expertise, IBM has unique capabilities to help our clients realise the potential of a hybrid cloud business model.”

Krishna further added that hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence are two dominant forces that are driving change for IBM’s clients and must have the maniacal focus of the entire company. Besides, IBM has always been considered an innovation powerhouse, as IBM has been leading on all fronts like cloud, AI, blockchain and quantum.

Going forward in the letter, Arvind Krishna, specified a few actions that are going to take place during his leadership, which will help them in bringing leading solutions to their clients.

According to Arvind, firstly, IBM needs to deepen their understanding of two strategic battles, which are the journey to hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. He wrote, “We all need to understand and leverage IBM’s sources of competitive advantage. Namely, our open source and security leadership, our deep expertise and trust, and the fact that we enable clients to build mission-critical applications once and run them anywhere.”

“I’m writing to you for the first time as your new CEO amid this global public health crisis online any other that we have faced.” — Arvind Krishna, Chief Executive Officer, IBM.

Secondly, IBM needs to win the architectural battle in the cloud front, as he sees a unique window of opportunity for IBM and Red Hat to establish Linux, containers and Kubernetes as the new standard. “We can make Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud in the same way that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the default choice for the operating system,” wrote Krishna.

Thirdly, as a company, IBM should be obsessed with continually delighting their clients. For this, he wrote, “At every interaction, we must strive to offer them the best experience and value. The only way to lead in today’s ever-changing marketplace is to innovate according to what our clients want and need constantly.”

Krishna also noted that culture is everything, and culture is what that drives capability in any organisation. “One of my key priorities will be fostering an entrepreneurial mindset across our business, “wrote Krishna. “This is about being nimble, pragmatic and aiming for speed over elegance. And, it’s about being comfortable with ambiguity and continuously adapting to shifting circumstances.”

Krishna, who drove the acquisition of RedHat, will be betting heavily on the cloud to revive the fortunes of IBM. Highlighting specific actions for the future, Krishna urged IBM employees to make use of the company’s sources of competitive advantage.

Concluding the letter, he wrote, “IBM is a strong company. In our 109-year history, we have weathered countless storms and seen many crises unfold before our eyes. Today, we are financially strong, and we have a loyal client base. When this crisis ends, I’m confident that IBM will emerge strong, and we will be focused on growth. Few companies have the trust, credibility and cumulative wisdom to change the fabric of society through technology the way that IBM can.”

“I love this company. In my 30+ years with IBM, I have seen first-hand the tremendous talent and dedication that IBMers possess. For all these reasons, I’m truly honoured and humbled to be your CEO and to lead an iconic, storied and innovative company like IBM,” concluded Krishna.

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Sejuti Das
Sejuti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at

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