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James J. Kavanaugh

Senior Vice President, Transformation & Operations


Full biography

James J. Kavanaugh is Senior Vice President, Transformation and Operations. He was appointed to this new position in January 2015. Mr. Kavanaugh reports to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty.

In this role, Mr. Kavanaugh is responsible for enabling IBM’s transformation to a data driven cognitive enterprise. In addition, his organization is responsible for the redesign of IBM’s operating model to continuously align with fundamental market shifts and to drive new ways of work while incorporating speed and agility through the enterprise.

His global team brings together key functions essential to the IBM transformation, including: the Business Architecture and Transformation Office, the CIO organization, Chief Analytics Office, Chief Data Office, Client Advocacy, Enterprise Performance Management, Global Procurement, IBM Support, Real Estate Operations and Security, as well as other shared Enterprise Services. He is a member of the IBM Operating Team, responsible for day-to-day marketplace execution.

Prior to this role, Mr. Kavanaugh was IBM Controller from May 2008 until January 2015. Before that, he was vice president of finance and operations for IBM’s Sales & Distribution division. He held this position from January 2006 through May 2008.

In May 2004, Mr. Kavanaugh was named vice president of finance and operations for IBM’s Americas Group. In this capacity, Mr. Kavanaugh oversaw financial management and operations across the United States, Canada and Latin America.

Previously, Mr. Kavanaugh was vice president of finance and planning for IBM EMEA, located in Paris, France. In this role he served as chief financial officer for 124 countries, responsible for all strategic and operational financial management.

Mr. Kavanaugh was also assistant controller, finance and planning, for IBM’s corporate headquarters, where he was responsible for the IBM financial forecast and measurements process. Before this he served as director of planning and consolidation for the PC Company, responsible for strategic financial planning, forecasting and measurements.  In May 1999, Mr. Kavanaugh assumed the role of chief financial officer of IBM’s Personal Systems Group, Americas.

Mr. Kavanaugh joined IBM in 1996 from AT&T Corporation, where he was the chief financial officer, Americas Global Services.

Mr. Kavanaugh earned a Master of Business Administration from The Ohio State University.