For the first time in
nearly 100-year history, the company is moving one of its corporate headquarters overseas, to China.
The move indicates that Big Blue is serious about expanding its business around the globe and into emerging markets.
Chief Procurement Officer John Paterson is moving from Somers, N.Y. to Shenzhen, China. IBM already has 1,850 procurement and logistics employees in the region.
"In a multinational model, many functions of a corporation were replicated around the world -- but each addressing only its local market," Paterson said in a statement.
"In a globally integrated enterprise, for the first time, a company's worldwide capability can be located wherever in the world it makes the most sense, based on the imperatives of economics, expertise and open environments," he said.
Paterson plans to expand IBM's internal procurement skills in the region and develop executives for global roles there. He also intends to modify the company's supply base in Asia to meet the demand for software and services, in addition to hardware.
IBM shares recently added 32 cents to $84.51.