IBM’s board of directors have announced that Virginia M. Rometty will be taking over as CEO of the company in 2012, succeeding current chief Samuel Palmisano. Palmisano will stay on as chairman of the board, but at the end of the year will hand over the reins to Rometty who will become one of a few, but growing number of female chief executives (alongside Meg Whitman) in the tech industry. During her roughly decade long tenure with the company she has spearheaded the push into the services industry and in 2009 became senior vice president of sales, marketing and strategy, leading the charge into markets like China and India. The 54-year-old Rometty will look to continue Palmisano’s success, which has seen IBM become the second most valuable tech company in the world, just ahead of Microsoft and right behind Apple. Check out the full PR after the break.