San Francisco: In a surprise development, IBM has announced that Jim Whitehurst has decided to step down as President of the company just 14 months after joining in that role. Whitehurst has played a pivotal role in the $34 billion IBM and Red Hat integration announced in 2018. He will continue to work as senior advisor to Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO, IBM. "In the almost three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM's strategy, but also, in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology platforms and innovations provide more value to our clients," Krishna said in a statement late on Friday. After IBM bought Red Hat in 2018 for $34 billion, Ginni Rometty stepped down as CEO and Krishna took over. Whitehurst, who had been Red Hat CEO, moved to IBM as president. Krishna announced that when he became CEO, Bridget van Kralingen agreed to stay to help ensure his transition went well. "She has now decided to step down from her current role as Senior Vice President, Global Markets," he added. IBM also announced other transitions and changes in senior management. Rob Thomas will become Senior Vice President, Global Markets. Tom Rosamilia will become Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Software and Ric Lewis will become Senior Vice President of Systems.