Indians in green card line hail Arvind Krishna’s appointment as IBM CEO


IBM executive Arvind Krishna. 5/30/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

Krishna’s elevation seen as affirmation of talent Indian IT professionals bring to the US.

Ever since tech giant IBM announced Thursday that Indian-origin Arvind Krishna will take over as its next CEO, a spate of congratulatory messages have been exchanged in the Indian American visa backlog community.

Various support groups for Indian IT professionals formed online and on WhatsApp are seeing this significant appointment as another affirmation of the fact that the American tech industry gains enormously from Indian professionals.

The H-1B community notes that Arvind Krishna joins a long list of Indian-origin tech CEOs in America. From Microsoft’s Satya Nadella to Google’s Sunder Pichai who was elevated to CEO of parent firm Alphabet last year to Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that Indian Americans do dominate the top tier of tech industry in America.

For many Indian tech professionals who have been following Arvind Krishna’s career graph, the move does not come as a surprise. Bay Area based tech start up owner Vikas Naren says, “I have worked in the IT industry in America for decades now and have been inspired by Arvind Krishna.

“For those in the tech, we know, that he is a formidable name in cloud, block chain and cognitive software. He will take Indian legacy to great heights.”

Krishna who is currently IBM’s Senior Vice President will be succeeding Virginia Rometty in April.

Another IT professional, Sudhkar Jha, who is a member of many online communities for tech workers says, “We see this appointment as a testimony to the fact that there is a lot that Indian tech professionals can contribute to America.

“But it is a shame that we are often left juggling visas and green cards. Many of our children can be the next Arvind Krishnas, but sadly our fear right now is that they do not age-out.”

Reema Shukla who works with a tech conglomerate in Silicon Valley says, “Anytime during a board meeting, I do make a point to talk about the vision and success of Indian American CEOs like Satya and Pichai, I am glad we have another name. And my sincere hope is very soon we will have another woman Indian origin CEO in America, just like Indra Nooyi.”

Vaibhav Sharma,  who is an alumnus of IIT in India and is on an H-1B in the US says, “When we heard about Arvind Krishna’s appointment, the news struck home. He is like our very own guy. He studied at IIT in India, proving that India provides a solid tech background.

“One can’t help but think that sometime CEOs like these may have also started as students on F-1 and then as H-1B professionals in the US.”

“Look where they have reached. If we have fair immigration systems then each one of us would aspire to bring our best to the country we now want to make our home.”

An Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur alumnus, Krishna came to the US as a student and earned his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Krishna joined IBM back in 1990.

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