IBM hires former Bank of America CTO to lead cloud business

Howard Boville will join the company as SVP of Cloud Platform

IBM building

IBM has hired former Bank of America chief technology officer (CTO) Howard Boville to head up its cloud business.

Boville, who will join the company as senior vice president of Cloud Platform, replaces Arvind Krishna, who was promoted to CEO earlier this year after Ginni Rometty stepped down from the role

In a LinkedIn post shared with employees, Krishna wrote that Boville, who spent eight years at Bank of America designing and running the company's cloud services, "is a proven strategist and expert in the realm of cloud and has played a critical role in developing the financial services ready public cloud with IBM."

Boville's appointment comes after IBM last year announced it had designed a financial services-ready public cloud by collaborating with Bank of America. IBM said it would enable independent software vendors and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers to focus on deploying their core services to financial institutions with the controls for the platform already put in place.

In his LinkedIn post, shared on his first day as CEO, Krishna also said told IBM staff that in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, "now is the time to build a fourth platform in hybrid cloud."

"An essential, ubiquitous hybrid cloud platform our clients will rely on to do their most critical work in this century," he said. "A platform that can last even longer than the others.

"The fundamentals are already in place. Our approach to hybrid cloud is the most flexible and the most cost effective for our clients in the long term. Coupled with our deep expertise, IBM has unique capabilities to help our clients realize the potential of a hybrid cloud business model."

He added that IBM has "to win the architectural battle in cloud", noting that "there's a unique window of opportunity for IBM and Red Hat to establish Linux, containers and Kubernetes as the new standard.

"We can make Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud in the same way that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the default choice for the operating system."

Krishna also announced other leadership changes. Jim Whitehurst, in his new role as president, will head IBM Strategy as well as the Cloud and Cognitive Software unit, and Paul Cormier will lead IBM's open-source software company Red Hat as its new president and CEO.

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