Rometty to succeed Palmisano as IBM chairman

It’s not unexpected but it’s still worth noting — IBM CEO Virginia “Ginny” Rometty will succeed Sam Palmisano as chairman of the computing and services giant on October 1. Palmisano will stay on as a senior advisor until his retirement date of December 1, 2012, IBM announced late Tuesday afternoon.

Last October, IBM tapped Rometty, who is 55 years old, as its first female CEO and ninth CEO overall. She officially took the reins as president and CEO and became a director on January 1, 2012.

Rometty, who started at the company as a systems engineer in 1981 and worked her way up the ranks. Before being named CEO she was SVP and group executive of IBM’s Sales, Marketing and Strategy and before that led IBM’s huge Global Business Services unit and engineered its $3.5 billion acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting in 2002. She was viewed as a solid choice who would continue to forge down IBM’s cloud-and-services strategy set by Palmisano.

IBM has a mandatory retirement age of 60 for its executives.

The orderliness with which IBM has managed its succession stands in stark contrast to rival Hewlett-Packard (s HPQ) which has had five CEOs since 2005. In other industry succession news,  long-time Cisco CEO John Chambers tipped his hand about possible retirement and succession strategies earlier today.