IBM CEO rejects split talk, cites ‘clear strategy’

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty dismissed talk of the tech company splitting up, despite its large size and Monday’s earnings miss.

“There is no doubt that marketplace speed has increased,” she said. “We have a very clear strategy about how to take this company to the future.”

Adam Jeffery | CNBC Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Still, Rometty said the company plans to have divested assets worth roughly $7 billion in annual revenue by the end of the year.

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“When you remove layers, simplicity and speed happen,” she said.

Rometty highlighted her development of a dedicated cloud computing division within the company, and integrated corporate verticals for security and smart commerce.

Earlier Monday, IBM posted quarterly results that badly missed Wall Street expectations. The sharp decline in the company’s stock single-handedly dragged the broader Dow lower.

“Our third quarter was a disappointment…make no mistake, and I don’t minimize that,” Rometty said.

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IBM also announced that it would be abandoning its earnings per share guidance laid out by a five-year plan. Rometty, however, stressed that the company would adhere to its commitment to “prioritize the importance of dividend and share repurchase for really returning value to our shareholders.”

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