IBM President Jim Whitehurst is stepping down from the No. 2 leadership position at the company less than three years after IBM acquired his former company, in just one of several leadership changes announced Friday.
Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global markets, will also leave the company, said IBM CEO Arvind Krishna in a press release right before the three-day holiday weekend. Rob Thomas, who has led IBM's Watson initiative in the past, will become the new senior vice president of global markets.
Whitehurst became president of IBM in early 2020 after Krishna was elevated to the CEO position. IBM spent $34 billion to acquire Red Hat in a deal that closed in 2019, an attempt to position itself as a hybrid cloud vendor after failed attempts to build a public cloud business and compete with the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud.
But the company has struggled to grow in the years since the deal closed. IBM recently announced that it would spin off its IT consulting business into a new company called Kyndryl, a move seen by many as a cost-cutting measure.
Whitehurst's bio had already disappeared from IBM's website as of Friday morning. Investors sent IBM's stock down almost 5% on the news.