IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said Red Hat will remain independent because 'I don't have a death wish for $34 billion'

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said Red Hat will remain independent because 'I don't have a death wish for $34 billion'

ginni rometty

REUTERS/Albert Gea

IBM CEO Virginia "Ginni" Rometty

  • IBM CEO Ginni Rometty reaffirmed that Red Hat will remain an independent company after IBM completes its $34 billion acquisition.
  • Rometty joked that she had "no death wish" buying Red Hat: "I'm not buying them to destroy them."
  • IBM's plan to gobble up Red Hat has been met with some skepticism, even though some analysts call it a smart move that would boost the company's position in cloud computing.
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IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty kicked off Red Hat's big summit in Boston by reaffirming that the open-source software company will remain independent once Big Blue completes its $34 billion acquisition.

"I don't have a death wish for $34 billion," Rometty quipped in a lively conversation on Tuesday with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. "I'm not buying them to destroy them. It's a win win for our clients. It's a way to drive more innovation."


Rometty's comments were met with applause and laughter at the gathering.

IBM's plan to buy Red Hat, which was unveiled in October, has been viewed as a bold move to beef up its cloud arsenal.

In a statement, Rometty had called the move a "a game-changer" that "changes everything about the cloud market."


Some analysts have been skeptical, especially as IBM struggles to keep up with stronger rivals in a market dominated by Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Google. The move has also sparked worries on what being gobbled up by Big Blue could mean for Red Hat's future.

That was clearly what Rometty's light-hearted remarks on Tuesday sought to address. And it appeared to work for some who listened to the conversation.

"Who knew Ginni had such a good sense of humor?" one attendee tweeted.


Some analysts also think the Red Hat acquisition is a smart move. Analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies Inc. says adding Red Hat's open source technology could make IBM more competitive.

"This is very important in a world where competition from Google, Dell, Amazon, Lenovo and others are vying to provide the technology for business transformation as mid-to-large enterprises move from current localized servers to cloud based solutions," he told Business Insider.

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