IBM hires ex-Thomas Cook boss Harriet Green to lead new data-focused business

Sarah Spickernell
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Green resigned from Thomas Cook in November last year (Source: Getty)
IBM has confirmed the appointment Harriet Green, former chief executive of Thomas Cook, to lead two new business divisions – the Internet of Things and Education Business.
In a statement, the New York-based technology company said these units were being launched to “apply the company’s considerable strengths in Big Data, advanced analytics and cognitive computing”.
This follows on from IBM's announcement in March this year that it is investing $3bn (£1.9bn) over the next four years to deliver new industry-specific cognitive computing technologies.
Green, who has been made vice president of the two divisions, will help build up a team of 2,000 consultants, researchers, and developers to help make full use of IBM's analytics and cloud.
The appointment follows Green's resignation from Thomas Cook in November last year. She is considered to have been a positive force while working for the company, and is credited with saving it from collapsing when she first became boss in 2011. When her departure from the firm was announced, shares slumped 18 per cent in value.
Green donated part of her multi-million-pound bonus to charity after a backlash to the payout. It followed criticism of Thomas Cook's response to the death of two children in Corfu in 2006, during a holiday arranged by the travel company.
John Kelly, senior vice president of solutions portfolio and research at IBM, said:
Harriet brings to IBM a strong, proven track record as a transformative leader. Throughout her career, across multiple geographies and cultures, she has consistently shown a deep understanding of the needs of her customers and clients, and how to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.
Her creativity and vision will help organizations transform themselves to take fuller advantage of emerging data and cognitive technologies.

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