The Business Year

Ricardo Martinho

PORTUGAL - Telecoms & IT

Ricardo Martinho

President, IBM Portugal


Ricardo Martinho has a degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Coimbra. He also holds a master’s in management and marketing from Alcalá de Henares University in Madrid and completed an executive program at the INSEAD management school. Martinho began his professional activity in 1988 as a consultant at Companhia IBM Portuguesa, S.A. Since then, he has held several leadership positions and worked in France and Spain. In 2020, he returned to Portugal as director of the technology unit and assumed a position on the local board of administration. In 2021, he was appointed President of IBM Portugal and the IBM Portugal Group, which also includes Softinsa, BTO, and other complementary groups of companies.

TBY talks to Ricardo Martinho, President of IBM Portugal.

In Portugal, IBM is focusing its operations on hybrid cloud and AI. Can you tell us more about these divisions?

We changed significantly over the last year; we changed the company totally and our strategy is particularly focused on what we call hybrid cloud and AI. The two main areas in our strategy are to bring technology to the market and customer and, in addition, introduce the idea of expertise. Therefore, we put together these strategies with the best people to implement it. Accordingly, we created a new consultant group with people with considerable experience in building projects around these areas, among others. Thus, we combine the best of the technology with the best of expertise into dynamic solutions. Another important aspect of this change for adding value to the strategy is the overall ecosystem. So, working with local or international partners that can bring value to this change is also crucial. Bringing people with wider experience and other software that can integrate with ours and who can work inside our completely open hybrid cloud always brings value to us and our customers. We have identified the need to change our culture internally as well, having changed the culture to focus on this. We create new roles with people who have considerable knowledge, who are always studying developments, and who become part of this transformation from the outset. These collaborators are responsible for taking the message to the customer. Also of great importance as part of our new strategy at IBM was the change in our go-to-market model. The net effect of the change was better communication with the customer.

What are your short-term objectives and the main targets on your agenda?

What I have in mind for 2022-2023 is to grow by single digits, as the corporation has set this as the acceptable minimum. I want to increase the number of employees in Portugal. We have around 100 openings at the moment, even if the applicants do not speak Portuguese. We have four innovation centers in Portugal, and we want to open a fifth, and probably a sixth in 2023. One of my objectives is to grow and boost the performance of these centers. There are many opportunities in the interior of the country that, if tapped, will work to the advantage of Portugal as a whole, while bringing considerable local benefit. 



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