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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s Letter to the U.S. President-Elect
Ginni Rometty’s Letter to the U.S. President-Elect
Business Machines Corporation
Office of the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
on your election as the 45th president of the United States.
Tuesday night you spoke about bringing the country together to build a better
future, and the opportunity to harness the creative talent of people for the
benefit of all. I know that you are committed to help America’s
economy grow in ways that are good for all its people.
writing to offer ideas that I believe will help achieve the aspiration you
articulated and that can advance a national agenda in a time of profound
change. I do so as the leader of the nation’s largest technology employer, its
leading patent creator, and the company that for more than 105 years has
believed that prosperity and progress can be achieved by unleashing the
potential of all people. Permit me to offer a few specific suggestions:
Creating “New Collar” Jobs
Getting a job at today’s IBM does not always require a college degree; at some
of our centers in the United States, as many as one third of employees have
less than a four-year degree. What matters most is relevant skills, sometimes
obtained through vocational training. In addition, we are creating and hiring
to fill “new collar” jobs – entirely new roles in areas such as cybersecurity,
data science, artificial intelligence and cognitive business.
spoken about the importance of vocational education, and we agree. IBM has
championed a new educational model for the United States – six-year public
high schools that combine traditional education with the best of community
colleges, mentoring, and real-world job experience. The first of these schools
opened with IBM’s support 5 years ago in New
York; we have hired some of the first graduates.
There will soon be 100 such schools across the country. With your support, we
could do much more. Let’s work together to scale up this approach of vocational
training, creating a national corps of skilled workers trained to take the “new
collar” IT jobs that are in demand here in America.
Building Intelligent, Secure
You’ve said we need to invest in America’s infrastructure, and we
agree. As we build big, let’s also build smart. The country should focus on
infrastructure investments that incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) technology
and artificial intelligence to improve performance. And as infrastructure gets
smarter, it also increases the need for cybersecurity, so that vital networks
cannot be compromised. We recommend that your infrastructure package include
incentives for states and localities to build intelligent – and secure – roads,
bridges, buildings, and other public facilities.
Healthcare: Applying Lessons from Private
IBM operates one of the largest employer-sponsored health plans in the United States.
In 2009, IBM offered 15 specific ideas for how America could save more than $900
billion over ten years through common-sense reforms to the healthcare system,
leveraging lessons learned in the private sector. These included using data
analytics to reduce fraudulent Medicare claims, improving the exchange of
healthcare information among providers, and leveraging the government’s
purchasing power to lower the cost of drugs and care. IBM will update its
recommendations for the healthcare system and hopes to work with Congress and
your HHS Secretary to drive better healthcare at lower cost.
Using Data to Fight Government Waste and Inefficiency
Eight years ago, IBM helped lead an effort to identify $1 trillion in savings
the federal government could achieve through using advanced data analytics,
data center consolidation, and the use of cloud technologies to improve the
cybersecurity of key government systems. As part of the Technology CEO Council
of which I am a member, we will prepare an updated set of recommendations for
how you could use technology and fraud analytics to save the government more
than $1 trillion.
Bringing Money Home to Invest in America
IBM supports your proposal to make American’s tax system more competitive. Many
billions of dollars of American companies’ earnings do not come home because of
an outdated and punitive tax system. Your tax reform proposal will free up
capital that companies of all sizes can reinvest in their U.S.
operations, training and education programs for their employees, and research
and development programs. We will support the efforts of your administration
and Congress to pass tax reform early in 2017.
Taking Care of Our Veterans – With the World’s Best
All of us at IBM share your gratitude and devotion to the men, women and
families who serve our country. More must be done to give our vets the best
medical care possible. So we recently announced a pilot program with the Department
of Veterans Affairs to help its oncologists treat 10,000 veterans through the
power of precision medicine and genomic analysis powered by IBM’s cognitive
computing system, Watson. We hope to work with your VA Secretary to expand this
President-elect, IBM’s roots are in the United States. We are investing,
hiring, and continuing to reinvent our company for long-term competitiveness.
At more than 50 major locations across the country, we hired more U.S. employees
last year than in the previous five years. We are opening new innovation
centers and business units across the country. We are proud of the work we do
here in the United States,
just as we are proud of the work we do in more than 175 countries around the
In the years
ahead there will be issues on which we agree, and issues on which we do not.
But as you prepare to take office as our new president, I hope the ideas I have
offered in this letter represent ways that we can work together to achieve
prosperity that is broadly shared in our society.
Chairman, President and CEO, IBM