Chow, who has been chairman and CEO of IBM's Greater China Group for almost 12 years, will remain as chairman. The Wall Street Journal reported that an IBM spokeswoman said the management changes will give Chow more time to prepare for his retirement. IBM could not immediately be reached for comment.
Chien previously was the company’s general manager for south-east Asia and south Asia.
Among the recent IBM developments in China on Chow’s watch, IBM and Lehman Brothers announced on the 30 October, 2006, the joint creation of the China Investment Fund to invest in Chinese companies. Investments by the fund, which has an initial capitalisation of $180 million (£93m), are intended to support the Chinese government’s policy to encourage companies to be innovative.
IBM also signed an agreement in late November to establish a Global Delivery Centre within the Chengdu Tianfu Software Park in Western China’s Sichuan Province. Scheduled to be operational by February, the new centre will provide application development and maintenance services to clients around the world in English, Japanese and Chinese, and to the IBM global procurement centre, recently relocated to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.