IBM ushered in the first female CEO in the company's 100-year history. Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, a veteran at the technology giant famous for its conservative corporate culture, will take over as CEO from Sam Palmisano, IBM announced. Palmisano has been CEO for nearly a decade and turned 60 this year. He will stay on as chairman. Rometty, 54, takes over on 1 January 2012. She is currently in charge of sales and marketing at the company based in Armonk, New York. Last month, Meg Whitman was named CEO of Hewlett-Packard Whitman had previously joined eBay when it was a fledgling startup during the dotcom boom and guided it to become an internet auction powerhouse. She also ran unsuccessfully for California governor last year.