David Kirkpatrick wonders in a discussion on Bloomberg whether the sour reception of the performance of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s CEO Virginia Marie Rometty is partly because of sexism.
The comment from the Techonomy founder came as he and the In The Loop team were discussing 2014 for present technology company. When the topic of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) came up via a comment that Microsoft is better than its fellow tech giant in cloud services, Kirkpatrick said that the view of industry observers of women chief executives may be clouded by sexism at times.
“There’s probably a little sexism there to be honest. […] Women CEOs have a harder time convincing Wall Street of anything. Look at [Yahoo! CEO] Marissa Mayer. I honestly there’s sexism there,” he said.
However, he also stressed that he does not consider International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) “is a brilliant story of success”. He implied that the company has become too big for its own good.
Kirkpatrick said that as the sectors the business is in now change, the company also has to change rapidly. This is something it needs to do, he said, as it has become so entrenched in these industries.
He said that if one compares International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the latter has a more recent legacy than the former which explains why Microsoft may be quicker at change than IBM. Kirkpatrick also discussed how Microsoft did well this year as a result of better leadership and change within the company at an earlier point of the interview.
Nonetheless, Kirkpatrick said that IBM is still a services company which is very global and which has very loyal customers willing to spend a lot for their services. It’s just that the company’s creativity is lacking, he said.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owned a massive stake in International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) by the end of the third quarter of the year. Amounting to about $13.38 billion at the time the firm reported the stake, it is comprised of about 70.48 million shares. This stake in the tech giant makes up 12.41% of Berkshire Hathaway’s whole portfolio.