IBM (IBM) - Get Report was up 0.4% in midmorning, a day after Chairman and CEO Louis Gerstner confirmed that President and Chief Operating Officer Sam Palmisano is the top candidate to replace him when he retires.

Gerstner said in a television interview Thursday evening that he has been putting a transition team together for the past two years. Palmisano, a 27-year IBM veteran, could replace Gerstner as early as next year.