Anne Altman retired from IBM on Jan. 31 following more than three decades of service and leadership. Sam Gordy, formerly senior vice president and group president of integrated systems at Leidos Inc., was selected as IBM Federal’s new general manager.
Altman’s first position at IBM was systems engineer for an FBI project, and the government business has always been her first love.
Whenever there was a complex, high-profile assignment at IBM, Altman was chosen to lead it. For example, she led the divestiture of IBM’s Federal Systems Division — which focused heavily on satellite and defense work — to Loral Corp in 1995. In 2001, IBM created a new federal business organization, and Altman served as its managing director.
In 2007, she moved to the company’s server hardware business to lead the successful launch of IBM’s System z mainframe, one of the company’s most important products. Altman then led IBM’s global public sector business before returning to IBM Federal in 2013.
Since 2013, Altman led the transformation and restructuring of IBM’s government business, focusing on the company’s core strengths in security analytics, cognitive, mobile, commerce and the cloud. She created a cloud innovation center, hired IBM’s first chief innovation officer, built two FedRAMP-certified data centers and created an analytics solutions center that delivers cognitive computing and Watson’s capabilities for the public sector. She is an insightful leader and also created IBM’s Millennial Council.
Altman has always been active in industry groups including the Northern Virginia Technology Council and AFCEA, and previously served on the Executive Committee of the Professional Services Council. She is also active in civic groups and serves on the National Symphony Orchestra‘s Executive Committee as the treasurer and chairs the Finance Committee. She has received numerous honors and awards.
Throughout her career, Altman has developed deep friendships with her colleagues at competing firms. WashingtonExec asked some of them to comment on Altman’s career and contributions following her retirement from her long history with IBM.
“Anne has been an exceptional leader and role model in the greater Washington, DC region as a top executive with IBM, Vice Chair of the NVTC, Executive Committee for PSC and in many other ways for our community. Anne is always accessible and willing to help where she can. She is extremely thoughtful in her counsel and fully engages herself for making a positive change in the community.” — Brad Antle, CEO, Salient CRGT
“I’ve had the sincere pleasure of working with Anne over the years in various capacities to serve clients, the industry and our community, and I have always admired her vision, disciplined execution and integrity. When I think about the dedicated, accomplished leaders in our market, who have truly made an enduring positive impact, I will always think of Anne as one of the best. Although she’s closed a notable chapter at IBM, I’m certain that what’s to come will continue to be rewarding.” — Greg J. Baroni, CEO, Attain
“Anne Altman has been an outstanding leader at IBM and an exceptional vice chair at NVTC. We thank her for her tremendous contributions to our organization and our region’s technology community. Anne has had a lasting impact on NVTC. She served as co-chair of our Big Data Task Force, resulting in the creation of NVTC’s Big Data and Analytics Committee, and mentored the creation of our NextGen Leaders group, which brings together the region’s emerging leaders in technology. We expect — and welcome — Anne to continue to be actively involved in NVTC.” — Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO, NVTC
“Anne and I met many years ago, when we were both running businesses serving the Federal government, she at IBM and I at AMS. I immediately was struck by Anne’s strategic acumen, her insight and her creativity. She also was gifted at making genuine personal connections, and she won me over instantly. Over the years, we sometimes teamed together and also competed against one another. Anne was a fierce competitor, but always motivated by her belief in her company’s and her team’s ability to provide the best outcome for the customer. Through it all, we became and remained friends. And despite winning, losing and even protesting against each other, our friendship has endured to this day. She is a great leader and a special person.” — Donna S. Morea, CEO, Adesso Group
“This community has been incredibly fortunate to have Anne as one of its real leaders for many years. Her tremendous success in business has been matched, even exceeded, only by the respect she generated across the sector and the scope of her impact. That’s a real testament to her special combination of intelligence and ability to work well and effectively with all kinds of people at all levels. That’s not something you can say about everyone. Further, the degree to which she constantly accepted significant leadership roles, even when they added to an already over-burdened calendar, is further testament to her special place in the community. In my case, I asked her on several occasions to take on important roles, always promising that none was a “heavy lift.” Of course, that wasn’t entirely true, and the combination was anything but. Yet, she took them on and, as always, did it right. We all owe her very real debts of gratitude.” — Stan Soloway, president and CEO, Celero Strategies LLC