John E. Kelly III, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, IBM
Dr. John E. Kelly III has nearly four decades of experience innovating and leading in the Information Technology industry. Throughout his distinguished career, he has held significant technical and business roles driving IBM's leadership in technologies ranging from semiconductors to supercomputers to artificial intelligence cognitive systems. A champion of IBM's technical community, he has steered IBM’s leadership in U.S. patents for the last 27 years.
In his current role, Dr. Kelly is responsible for helping to guide IBM's global technical and business success. He oversees IBM's enterprise wide Intellectual Property, Security and Privacy, its academic, industrial, and government partnerships, as well as its technical community.
Previously, Dr. Kelly served as senior vice president, Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research, where he oversaw IBM Watson, the company’s AI platform, and its AI portfolio and investments. Under his leadership, IBM expanded the specialization of IBM Watson into many domains including health, security, analytics, Internet of Things, and financial services.
Prior to this, Dr. Kelly served as senior vice president and director of IBM Research, where he expanded its global footprint across 12 laboratories in 10 countries. He and his team advanced the science of artificial intelligence through Watson, the groundbreaking system that defeated two standing Jeopardy! world champions in 2011.
Dr. Kelly joined IBM in 1980. Between 1980 and 2007, he held numerous management and technical positions related to the development and manufacturing of IBM’s advanced semiconductor technologies. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has received numerous technology and leadership awards.
Dr. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Union College, and a Master of Science in physics and a Doctorate in materials engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has also received three honorary Doctoral degrees.