Rodney C. Adkins BS, MSEE

Photo of Rodney C. Adkins BS, MSEE

Rodney Adkins

President, 3RAM Group
3RAM Group, Senior VP, IBM (retired)


Rod Adkins is president of 3RAM Group LLC, a privately held company specializing in capital investments, business consulting services and property management. Formerly, Adkins was senior vice president of IBM, having served in that position from 2007 until 2014. He is the company’s first African-American senior vice president and corporate officer. In his more than 33-year career, Adkins has held several senior vice president roles, including in strategic partnerships and corporate strategy from 2013 to 2014, where he was responsible for leading continuous transformation across IBM and developing strategies for a new era of computing, new markets and new clients.

Adkins was previously senior vice president of Systems and Technology Group (STG), a $20 billion business segment. He held this position since 2009 and was responsible for all aspects of IBM’s semiconductor, server, storage and system software businesses, as well as the company’s integrated supply chain and global business partners’ organizations. Before heading all of Systems and Technology Group, he was senior vice president of STG development and manufacturing, a position he held since 2007. Adkins has served in a number of operational and management roles throughout his IBM career. This includes the general manager position for the multibillion-dollar PC company, UNIX Systems, and Pervasive Computing business units.

Adkins’ work has spanned the world of technology and computing. He was a leading innovator in solutions ranging from mobile devices to the world’s largest supercomputers. His major contributions included helping to develop the personal-computer industry, launching the IBM ThinkPad mobile PC, leading IBM’s POWER business to become the dominant player in the UNIX market, and helping to pioneer what became IBM’s portfolio of Smarter Planet solutions.

Adkins was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2005, which is one of the highest national recognitions for the engineering profession. His life story is archived in The History Makers and he is a lifetime member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). In 2001, NSBE recognized Adkins with the Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Industry. In 2002, Fortune magazine named Adkins one of the 50 most powerful black executives in America. Black Enterprise magazine chose Adkins as its 2011 Corporate Executive of the Year and 2016 Trailblazer of the Year.

Adkins serves on the board of directors for United Parcel Service (UPS), Grainger, PPL Corporation, Avnet, Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, National Materials & Manufacturing, the national board of the Smithsonian Institution and the Harlem School of the Arts. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a trustee of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and Rollins College. Adkins also serves on the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Board of Visitors and the University of Miami College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board. He previously served on the board of Pitney Bowes, PeopleClick Inc. and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). Adkins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in physics from Rollins College, as well as Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Georgia Tech and UMBC.

The College of Engineering gratefully acknowledges Adkins’ support of CoE and has recognized his $10,000 gift on the M2 Roger L. Koch Leadership Wall and his recent pledge and gift to the Dr. John T. MacDonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute (BioNIUM) at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

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