Jim Whitehurst is the President of IBM. He is responsible for the IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software organization, and Corporate Strategy. Whitehurst is an advocate for open principles as a catalyst for business innovation. With a background in business development, finance and global operations, he has proven expertise helping companies flourish—even in the most challenging environments.
Prior to IBM, Whitehurst served as the President and CEO of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise software solutions.
At Red Hat, Whitehurst grew its influence with key milestones—including becoming the first $1 billion revenue open source software company in 2012 and, most notably, the landmark acquisition of Red Hat by IBM for $34 billion in 2019. He has grown revenue from more than $500 million for its 2008 fiscal year to $3.4 billion for its 2019 fiscal year. Under his leadership, Red Hat was named to Forbes’ World’s Most Innovative Companies list, Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list and Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. He was also named to Barron’s list of the World’s Best CEOs in 2018.
In 2015, Whitehurst published a book with Harvard Business Review Press entitled “The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance,” showing how open principles of management can help organizations navigate and succeed in a fast-paced, connected era.
At Delta Air Lines, Whitehurst drove significant global expansion and, as chief operating officer, oversaw all aspects of airline operations, from sales to strategy. He began his career at The Boston Consulting Group in 1989, where he held several corporate development leadership roles.