1. Virginia Rometty, Chairman and CEO, IBM - Top IT Influencers
When Rometty became IBM's first female CEO in January 2012, it was unclear what role the outgoing CEO and chairman Sam Palmisano would assume and whether Rometty could step out of his shadow. Rometty, who previously held the role of Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing, and Strategy at IBM, leaves no doubt that she is swiftly moving the pace of Big Blue’s core business areas as well as new business fields that opened due to the cloud computing trend. This is a natural fit for Rometty as she has been credited with crafting IBM's cloud computing and analytics businesses that are presented on a larger scale than the efforts of its archrival HP. In the analytics field, Rometty has driven 30 company acquisitions with a volume of $16 billion alone, which has given IBM the most complete product portfolio in this segment today. Add to that IBM's core businesses in enterprise hardware and software, supercomputing products as well as research into products such as Watson, and you end up with an executive who is not only the most powerful woman in business today, but someone who controls the most powerful and resourceful IT empire now.