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Rometty's IBM Smells Just as Sweet

Stocks in this article: IBM YHOO HPQ DELL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It has now been about six months since Virginia Rometty took the helm of IBM (IBM).

She is now the most influential tech executive on the planet, as noted in an April Time piece by Marisa Mayer, now CEO of Yahoo! (YHOO).

You probably won't read much about the anniversary. I think that's intentional. Rometty's IBM is very, very quiet. Or as the philosopher Elmer Fudd would say, "vewy, vewy" quiet.

One anecdote tells the story.

It has long been a tradition that the CEO of IBM is a member of the Augusta National golf club. They are a huge sponsor of The Masters. This, and Rometty's gender, were mentioned around the time of this year's tournament, which she attended wearing a pink jacket, as USA Today noted.

The jacket was the statement. Rometty said nothing.

When Augusta announced its first female members this week, she wasn't on the list. My guess is her name will be added, quietly, and it will barely cause a ripple.

That's how Rometty wants it. It's how her predecessor, Sam Palmisano, acted, and Rometty is a Palmisano protege. She's about marketing, about relationships, about helping big enterprises understand that when they hire IBM, things will get done. Quietly, efficiently, no muss and no fuss. No drama.

This is how it was under Palmisano as well. Enterprise management was a big deal in the last decade, and IBM bought Tivoli Systems years before it became such. Computer security is a big deal today, and IBM bought ISS, a leader in tracking down problems in real-time, a decade ago.

This is Rometty's IBM. Anticipate needs, get there before the crowd, and when your customer calls with the question, have the answer ready for them.

Consider Rometty's latest acquisition. Texas Memory Systems makes sub-systems out of flash memory chips.

You first saw flash in "memory sticks," replacing floppy drives. Recently they replaced hard drives in PCs. Now the technology is about to head into the clouds, because it's faster and more reliable. That means huge demand, fat margins, a perfect market for IBM.

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