RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Martin Schroeter, the recently named CEO of IBM’s spinoff planned this year – still called “NewCo” – delivered his first detailed remarks about the new venture during a conference call with Wall Street analysts Thursday evening. He also spelled out his priorities with an emphasis on a “right inclusive culture around client service, innovation and talent.”
“Yes, we are working on a name,” he said as part of IBM’s earnings call along with CEO Arvind Krishna and CFO Jim Kavanaugh.
In his own words, Schroeter – a former IBM CFO who rejoined the company for the NewCo effort – provides an update on a corporate decision that will affect thousands of IBM employees, including a significant number at its North Carolina operations:
“When Arvind and I began talking about this role, he let me speak with all the teams who are working on it, and as I did my due diligence, it became very clear to me that I absolutely wanted to be a part of this. With the outstanding talent in NewCo, the nature of NewCo’s work for the leading companies in every industry, and the freedom of action or the mandate that NewCo will have, I could not be more excited about the future of this business.
“Of course, as Jim noted, we have a lot of work to do prior to NewCo being a separate, publicly traded company, and as we put all of that together I will tell you more of the story about what NewCo will look like. In the meantime, we do know what we have to get right in order to realize the tremendous potential we see.
“First, we know that we must continue to serve our clients. These industry leaders; NewCo’s clients, trust us to deliver some of their most important workloads in challenging environments and NewCo will continue to do that. It’s what our clients expect and deserve. It’s always been NewCo’s True North and will continue to be. And over time, our clients will see our strong investments bring new capabilities into their environments to help their ongoing journey into a more digitized world.
“Second, we must continue to invest and develop our teams, the teams our clients see and need every day. To our clients, our people are the face of NewCo and they are the people who know how to make these complex systems work. So, we’ll build the right inclusive culture around client service, innovation and talent so our clients continue to see how our teams shine brighter than any other.
“Third, and in support of the other elements of our business, we must establish the financial model for NewCo that ensures our long-term success. IBM has already provided, at a high-level, some of the characteristics of NewCo’s financial profile when it becomes independent. And we’re working on the specifics now in order to give you a complete and clear view of NewCo’s profile but we know that NewCo’s long-term success requires the right starting point and we will make sure NewCo is launched the right way.
“And, of course, we must build a strong relationship with our owners and the broader stakeholder community. To that point, I look forward to discussing the opportunities we see and how we intend to capture them in due course.
“As I said, I was not going to miss the opportunity to be a part of this. With a sharper focus and broad freedom of action, we have a tremendous opportunity to drive client value and translate that into a compelling investment thesis.”