IBM is to handsomely reward the leader, who for years has overseen a management policy that saw Big Blue shrinking “by design”.

Last month long-serving CEO, President and chairman Ginni Rometty announced she was to step down after nearly 8 years in running IBM.

Rometty is to leave IBM on 6 April and will be replaced by Arvind Krishna, 57, who is currently Big Blue’s senior VP for cloud and cognitive software.

Big bonus

But for her last full year year in charge at IBM, Rometty has been awarded $20.1m, according to the 2020 Notice of Annual Meeting & Proxy Statement.

The document revealed that Rometty was paid a $2m base salary, which is unchanged from recent years.

But in addition to her base salary, Rometty also received a bonus of $11.6m, up from $10.8m in 2018.

Other additions to her pay was $109,106 for a “change in retention plan value”; and $967,778 for a “change in pension value”.

And to finish off there was a payment of $873,935 for what IBM classified as “all other compensation”. This typically includes travel expenses.

In the end, Rometty’s total pay packet for her last year in charge was $20.16m, up 15.2 percent from the previous year.

Pay criticism

Rometty has previously attracted criticism over executive compensation bonuses, espicially amid all the staff layoffs, outsourcing and revenue decline that IBM has experienced over the years.

Indeed, under her leadership IBM posted over 24 consecutive quarters of revenue decline.

But it should be remembered that Rometty is a IBM veteran with nearly 40 years at the firm. She has overseen a period of great change at IBM, ever since she took over the CEO role back in 2012, becoming the first woman to be in charge of the founding firm of the IT industry.

IBM meanwhile is currently facing an age discrimination lawsuit in the US, and last year Rometty was ordered by a US Federal judge to hand over memos and communications on the matter.

That legal action came after in-depth report by ProPublica and Mother Jones in March 2018 alleged that IBM had a systematic strategy of pushing out Big Blue staffers aged 40 and upwards, and replacing them with younger, and cheaper employees.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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