Kathryn Guarini takes charge as IBM CIO

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Armonk, USA: Kathryn Guarini is the new CIO (Chief Information Officer) of IBM. Jim Kavanaugh, IBM CFO and SVP – Finance and Operations announced Guarini’s appointment in an official blog on Monday.

Kathryn Guarini will take the CIO charge after Fletcher Previn departs from the company to pursue other opportunities.

Previn has been with IBM for over 15 years. He joined IBM from Walmart in 2006 as IT Architect. Gradually, he held various roles and positions in the organisation before he was named as CIO in May 2017.

“Earlier today I announced that Fletcher Previn, IBM’s Chief Information Officer, will be leaving IBM to pursue other opportunities. With Fletcher’s departure, Kathryn Guarini will assume the role of Chief Information Officer,” Kavanaugh wrote in the blog.

IBM’s choice of Guarini for the CIO role may have surprised many because of her research background. Over the years, Guarini’s technical research has been well recognised through various industry awards.

She holds a Ph.D from Stanford University in Applied Physics and has written over 60 technical publications. Also, she has 65 plus U.S. patents under her name.

Guarini very recently held the positions of COO and VP of Impact Science, IBM Research – the company’s research division. Kavanaugh shared an interesting brief and background on why Kathryn Guarini was chosen as the next CIO of IBM.

“As we determined our next CIO, it was important to identify a leader who could continue our transformational journey, is technically eminent and has a proven track record in building organizational capability.,” Kavanaugh wrote in the blog.

“Kathryn led the IBM Research transformation to increase impact, extend technical distinction and improve the operational efficiency of the division. And, as VP of Impact Science, Kathryn was responsible for driving the IBM Research workstreams around the Future of Health, Work, and Climate, as well as the Governance of Science and Technology,” Kavanaugh added.

Guarini has been with IBM for over two decades. She has held various technical, management and executive positions in research and development. Besides, long work experience in the research space, she also has the experience of working with clients.

She has led large global teams to deliver complex solutions that meet the changing needs of clients. And she is experienced in technical strategy and leadership development. This should is enough to prove why IBM has chosen Kathryn Guarini as the next CIO.

Over the coming weeks, Guarini and Previn will work closely on the transition of the role and responsibilities.

While Kavanaugh mentioned interesting facts and background of Guarini’s capabilities. He also informed what IBM achieved under CIO Fletcher Previn, his leadership and his contributions. Previn is has been IBM CIO for close to four years now.

“Under Fletcher’s leadership, the Chief Information Office (CIO) has gone through a significant transformation. The team advanced and improved our internal tools, applications and IT infrastructure to create a more productive environment for IBMers worldwide as they work and engage with each other, as well as with partners and clients,” Kavanaugh said in the blog.

Previn’s stint at IBM is more than 15 years. During these years, he has played a significant role in many of the company’s strategies and innovation. For which, Kavanaugh in his concluding remarks expressed his gratitude to Previn as well.

“Throughout his tenure, Fletcher has provided invaluable thought leadership, creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit to the CIO, IBM and the industry as a whole. I can’t thank him enough for his contributions,” Kavanaugh concluded

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