Founded in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R), the company now known as International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) can be traced back even farther, to the 1880s, when Dr. Alexander Dey invented the first dial recorder. Dey’s business later became part of the foundation of C-T-R, along with Harlow Bundy’s Bundy Manufacturing Company, which produced the world’s first employee time clock.

More recently, IBM has become a global information technology company focused on software, cloud computing, and consulting services. Not surprisingly, all of the top individual shareholders of IBM are members of its senior management team.

Key Takeaways

  • The top five individual owners of IBM stock are all senior vice presidents at the company.
  • The company's CEO, Virginia M. Rometty, announced her retirement in January 2020.
  • IBM's new CEO is Arvind Krishna, formerly head of cloud computing services.

There's one big recent change in this list, and on the list of IBM's top management. Virginia M. Rometty, president and CEO beginning in January 2012, stepped down at the end of January 2020. Formerly at the top of the list of individual shareholders, she continues to hold 22,996 shares, ranking 7th on the list of largest individual shareholders.

Her successor is Arvind Krishna, formerly a senior vice president at IBM. He does not appear on the latest list of top shareholders, but may soon.

Here are the top 5 individual shareholders in IBM as of the end of 2019.

1. Martin J. Schroeter

Martin J. Schroeter is the largest shareholder of IBM as of late 2019 with 86,425 shares. Schroeter is currently senior vice president for IBM Global Markets. He was previously chief financial officer (CFO) of IBM and the general manager of IBM Global Financing. Schroeter received his undergraduate degree from Temple University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon. 

2. Dr. John E. Kelly III

Dr. John E. Kelly III is executive vice president for IBM and currently owns 84,905 shares of the company. He joined IBM in 1980 and has held a number of management and technical positions, most recently serving as senior vice president of Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research. He's the author of the book, IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing. Kelly received his bachelor's degree in physics from Union College and master's and doctoral degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic.

Dr. John E. Kelly published a book about the company, IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing.

3. James J. Kavanaugh 

James J. Kavanaugh is the third-largest IBM shareholder with 64,009 shares. He is the chief financial officer of IBM and has held a number of financial management positions at the company dating back to 1996. He has a master's degree in business administration from Ohio State University.

4. Michelle H. Browdy

Michelle H. Browdy owns 56,305 shares of IBM. She is senior vice president and general counsel for legal and regulatory affairs and general counsel of IBM. She was previously secretary to the company's board of directors and worldwide head of litigation. Browdy received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a master's degree in applied mathematics from Harvard, and a law degree from Yale Law School, where she was managing editor of the Yale Law Journal.

5. Kenneth Keverian

Kenneth Keverian, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy for IBM and is chairman of its Strategy Team, owns 32,878 shares of the company. He was previously a partner with the Boston Consulting Group and a product design manager at AT&T Bell Laboratories. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, a bachelor's degree in mathematics from MIT, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.