More IBM exec tea leaf reading
Michael E. Daniels, 56, a senior vice president, will be in charge of the entire services business, which had been split until now. Virginia M. Rometty, 52, a senior vice president, will oversee marketing and strategy, as well as sales, which she handles now.
Mr. Daniels and Ms. Rometty, analysts suggest, would be the most likely internal candidates to succeed Mr. Palmisano.
Still, they say, the closeness in age to Mr. Palmisano of the four executives could well mean that he is planning to remain beyond 60, while giving his top lieutenants large roles. Investors have been pleased with the tenure of Mr. Palmisano who, since 2002, has aggressively expanded I.B.M.’s operations abroad, shifted it sharply into higher-margin businesses and increased earnings per share fourfold.