People to Watch 2018

Bob Picciano
Senior Vice President of Cognitive Systems


Bob Picciano is Senior Vice President of Cognitive Systems for IBM at the time when the company is at a critical crossroads with Power. In this role, Picciano and his team are responsible for reinventing the computer for the Cognitive Era, helping to drive fundamental advancements in next-generation workloads, such as AI, machine learning, deep learning, quantum computing and high performance computing.

A 30-year industry veteran of R&D, Picciano has responsibility for all aspects of research, development, sales and marketing for Cognitive Systems, including IBM’s multi-billion-dollar Power Systems franchise. Cognitive Systems infrastructure offerings, which serve cloud computing platforms and all types of data centers, empower clients to easily apply AI or advanced analytics to elevate their understanding of consumers, market risks and opportunities, while also advancing innovation and discovery.

Prior to his current position, Picciano was Senior Vice President, IBM Analytics, where he had global responsibility for all aspects of the world’s largest – and market-leading – analytics business. In this role, he drove a number of critical strategic initiatives to transform IBM’s advanced analytics portfolio, including IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company; the launch of Watson Data Platform, the first AI-powered data platform on the cloud; the introduction of Watson Analytics, an award-winning, innovative SaaS analytics platform for business analytics; and repositioning IBM’s offerings by leveraging Open Source capabilities such as Hadoop, Spark and Python.

Picciano has also held a number of key General Management leadership positions within IBM’s Software business that include leading Global Sales for the $20B Software Group, and IBM’s Information Management and Collaboration Software businesses.

Picciano began his IBM career in 1987 in Bethesda, Maryland, as a software developer and holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northeastern University. A proud father of two daughters and the husband of a software engineer, Picciano is a strong advocate of diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace.

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Bob Picciano
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