RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM has a new chief information officer as it steps up efforts to further embrace cloud computing efforts and artificial intelligence.

She is Kathryn Guarini, a long-time IBM veteran who most recently served as chief operations officer and vice president of impact science in IBM Research. Guarini earned a PhD in applied physics from Stanford, and holds more than 60 patents.

Guarini replaces Fletcher Previn whom earlier in the day IBM said was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

The move is the latest made by Arvind Khrisna, now entering his second full year as IBM’s chair and top executive, to reshape IBM with a more intense focus on cloud computing and artificial intelligence following the $34 billion acquisition of Raleigh-based Red Hat.

“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,” wrote Chief Financial Officer Jim Kavanaugh in a blog post.

“These changes are effective immediately, with Kathryn and Fletcher working together over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

IBM photo

Kathryn Guarini

“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.  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 noted that she “is also passionate about and active in mentoring, inspiring and recruiting scientists and engineers of all ages, especially women.  She regularly blogs on her website ‘Mother of Invention’ about leadership, science and innovation.”

IBM operates one of its largest corporate campusues in RTP and employs thousands of people across North Carolina.

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