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IBM Appoints Former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn as Vice Chairman

IBM has appointed former Goldman Sachs president and COO Gary D. Cohn as vice chairman of IBM and member of the IBM executive leadership team, according to a statement released by the company.

Cohn most recently served as assistant to President Trump for economic policy and director of the national economic council from January 2017 until April 2018. Before serving in the White House, Mr. Cohn was president and chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group from 2006-2016, and held a number of other leadership positions during 26 years with that company.

IBM Names Vice Chairman Amid Business Transition

Cohn will work in partnership with IBM’s CEO Arvind Krishna and the IBM executive leadership team on a wide range of business initiatives and external engagement, in areas including business development, client services, public advocacy and client relationship management, according to the statement.

The appointment comes as IBM prepares to spin off its Managed Infrastructure Services unit — the managed services provider (MSP) business within IBM’s Global Technology Services division, as ChannelE2E reported in October 2020.

That move, expected to be completed by the end of 2021, will allow IBM to double down on the company’s own hybrid cloud strategy — which leans heavily on Red Hat OpenShift, CEO Arvind Krishna said in October.

The new standalone MSP business, will manage customer-owned infrastructure, as well as include hosting and network services, services management, infrastructure modernization, and migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, according to the company.

Gary D. Cohn: Executive and Professional Background

Cohn is co-chairman of Cohn Robbins Holding Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company. He invests across the cybersecurity, blockchain infrastructure, regulatory technology and medical technology sectors. Cohn also serves on the boards of Abyrx, Gro Intelligence, Indago, Nanopay and Starling, and is the chairman of the board of Pallas Advisors.

Additionally, Mr. Cohn serves on advisory boards for Hoyos Integrity and Spring Labs. He is a member of the Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee (SRAC) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Gary Cohn, vice chairman, IBM
Gary Cohn, vice chairman, IBM
Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM

"Gary is a globally respected leader with deep experience operating at the center of business and government," said Krishna. "As a senior representative of IBM, his knowledge of technology and business transformation, combined with policymaking expertise, will bring unique value to our clients and stakeholders as we accelerate our hybrid cloud and AI strategy."

"I am honored to be joining IBM, one the world's most important companies, providing technology that helps organizations be agile and resilient in unpredictable times," said Cohn. "With the company's long history of innovation and transformation for every technology era, and a focused growth strategy that will capitalize on the enormous opportunity in hybrid cloud and AI, this is an exciting time to begin working alongside Arvind, the IBM team and IBM's incredible roster of clients.”