Rob Thomas

General Manager, IBM Data and AI


Rob Thomas is the General Manager of IBM Data and Watson Artificial Intelligence. He directs IBM’s product investment strategy, sales and marketing, expert labs, and global software product development. With a portfolio of over 1000 products, IBM has emerged as a leader in data and AI, spanning databases, data integration and governance, business intelligence, planning, data science and AI tools, and AI applications. Major product brands under Rob’s leadership include Watson, Db2, Netezza, Cognos, SPSS, and InfoSphere.

Since joining IBM’s software unit, Mr. Thomas has held roles of increasing responsibility including business development, product engineering, sales & marketing, and general management. He has overseen 4 acquisitions by the firm representing over $2.5 billion in transaction value.

In 2015, John Wiley & Sons published Mr. Thomas’ first book, titled “Big Data Revolution: What farmers, doctors, and insurance agents can teach us about patterns in big data”. The Financial Times called the book, “interesting as a case study of the philosophical assumptions that underpin the growing obsession with data.” In December 2016, Mr. Thomas published his second book, “The End of Tech Companies”, educating business leaders on how to navigate digital disruption in every industry. Today, he writes extensively on his blog robdthomas.com.

Mr. Thomas serves on the board of Domus (Stamford, CT), which assists underprivileged children in Fairfield county. He lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife and three children.