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International Business Machines Corporation (IBM - Free Report) veteran James Kavanaugh was appointed as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective Jan 11. Kavanaugh will be replacing Martin Schroeter, who has served as the finance chief of the company over the last four years. Schroeter will now hold the office of the senior vice president, overseeing the global markets.

Kavanaugh joined IBM in 1996 from AT&T Corporation wherein he served as the CFO of Americas Global Services segment. Ever since, he has held various positions and was last serving as the senior vice president of Transformation and Operations. His long experience has seen him with deep roots in finance.

Additionally, his tenure as a chief accounting officer, vice president and controller as well as an IBM executive will help him exercise a deeper understanding and an enhanced decision making ability as a CFO. Moreover, Kavanaugh is responsible for developing an operating model, which allows the company to align with fundamental market shifts while driving speed and agility at the same time.

Kavanaugh holds a series of educational and professional degrees including a Bachelor of Finance and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Daytona and Ohio State University, respectively.

With such extensive experience in the world of technology, Kavanaugh is likely to be an asset for the company and will likely contribute to the company’s growth.

IBM provides advanced information technology solutions including computer systems, software, storage systems and microelectronics. The company’s growth is driven primarily by its Big Data & business analytics, cloud computing and security business.

Moreover, IBM has been winning significant deals of late. The company has struck bank guarantee deals with ANZ and Westpac as well as a multi-line insurance contract with American International Group and Standard Chartered PLC.

It has also inked a deal with global food suppliers and another one with automobile manufacturer, ZF Friedrichshafen, to enhance its Car e-Wallet technology.

However, IBM is having a tough time, given the ongoing and heavily time-consuming business model transition to cloud computing. Further, sluggish IT spending, particularly on on-premise and data center hardware and foreign exchange volatility, remains a concern.

Moreover, intense competition in most markets is a major headwind.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

IBM carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are NetApp, Inc (NTAP - Free Report) , NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) and Broadcom Limited (AVGO - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

NetApp, NVIDIA and Broadcom have a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 11.34%, 10.25% and 13.75%, respectively.

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