SVP, Software and CCO

Rob Thomas is Senior Vice President Software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM. He leads IBM’s software business, including product design, product development, and business development. In addition, Rob has global responsibility for IBM revenue and profit, including worldwide sales, strategic partnerships and ecosystem.

Rob has held several leadership roles across IBM, most recently as Senior Vice President of IBM Global Markets where he was responsible for IBM’s revenue, profit, business development and client success worldwide and prior to that as Senior Vice President, Cloud and Data Platform in IBM Software.  Rob has overseen numerous acquisitions by the firm, representing approximately $7 billion in transaction value.

In his over 20 years in IBM, Rob has held roles in IBM Consulting, IBM Microelectronics, and IBM Software, including two years living in Tokyo, Japan.  In 2007, Rob joined IBM’s software business, focused on data and analytics. He held a variety of roles, leading IBM’s transition from core databases to delivering broader analytical capabilities, investing in open source, and eventually artificial intelligence.

In 2015, John Wiley & Sons published Rob’s first book, titled “Big Data Revolution: What farmers, doctors, and insurance agents can teach us about patterns in big data”. The Financial Times called the book, “interesting as a case study of the philosophical assumptions that underpin the growing obsession with data.” In December 2016, Rob published his second book, “The End of Tech Companies,” educating business leaders on how to navigate digital disruption in every industry. In April 2020, O’Reilly published Rob’s latest book, “The AI Ladder: Accelerate Your Journey to AI.” The book serves as a practical guide for business leaders to discover where they are in their AI journey and learn the steps necessary to successfully scale AI throughout their organization. Today, he writes extensively on his blog

Born in Florida, Rob studied at Vanderbilt University, earning his BA in Economics. During his MBA from the University of Florida, Rob worked in equity research, learning applied economics, finance, and financial analysis. Rob serves on the board of Domus (Stamford, CT), which assists underprivileged children in Fairfield County. He is an active volunteer at Filling in the Blanks, an organization focused on fighting childhood hunger in local communities. He lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife and three children.