Indian-origin technology executive Arvind Krishna has been named as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Business Machines (IBM).

Krishna has replaced longtime CEO Virginia Rometty. Rometty, 62, will continue as executive chairman and serve through the end of the year when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company, IBM said in a statement on Thursday.

Virginia Rometty described him as the "right CEO for the next era at IBM" and "well-positioned" to lead the company into the cloud and cognitive era.

Krishna will take over as the IBM CEO on April 6.

Krishna, 57, is IBM Senior Vice President for Cloud and Cognitive Software, where he leads the IBM business unit that provides the cloud and data platform on which IBM's clients build the future.

His current responsibilities also include the IBM Cloud, IBM Security and Cognitive Applications business, and IBM Research. Previously, he was general manager of IBM's Systems and Technology Group's development and manufacturing organisation, the statement read.

Prior to that, Krishna built and led many of IBM's data-related businesses.

He has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined IBM in 1990.

"Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM," the statement quoted outgoing CEO Rometty as saying.

"He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing, and blockchain. He is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow," she said.

"Arvind has grown IBM's Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company's history. Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results and is an authentic, values-driven leader. He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era," Rometty further said.

"I am thrilled and humbled to be elected as the next Chief Executive Officer of IBM and appreciate the confidence that Ginni and the Board have placed in me," Krishna said in a press statement released by IBM.

Arvind Krishna said, "IBM has such talented people and technology that we can bring together to help our clients solve their toughest problems. "I am looking forward to working with IBMers, Red Hatters and clients around the world at this unique time of fast-paced change in the IT industry. We have great opportunities ahead to help our clients advance the transformation of their business while also remaining the global leader in the trusted stewardship of technology.”

Arvind Krishna's appointment as head of the global IT giant adds to the growing list of Indian-origin executives at the helm of some of the biggest multinational companies. Krishna joins the elite club that includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo's former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.