IBM Shuffles The Deck

Last week, IBM confirmed the retirement of two executives with more than 60 years of combined service with the computer giant and outlined the ripple effect of promotions and moves aimed at filling their slots.

Some skeptics say the services moves reflect IBM&'s difficulty converting its on-demand marketing message into solution sales, a claim denied by an IBM spokesman, who cited growth in the business.

On the executive front, John Joyce, the former CFO who most recently ran IBM Global Services, is leaving IBM after 30 years to join Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm.

IBM has installed a triumvirate of executives to run services. Ginny Rometty is now senior vice president of Enterprise Business Services and will handle consulting and asset-based services. She had been managing partner of IBM Business Consulting Services, the largest unit of IGS, the spokesman said.

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Mike Daniels was promoted to senior vice president of Information Technology Services. He had run IBM Americas.

And Bob Moffat is now senior vice president of Integrated Operations, running the Armonk, N.Y.-based company&'s massive supply chain machine. IBM also moved Steve Solazzo from IBM Software&'s SMB unit, where he had a big hand in IBM&'s acquisition of Rational Software, to become head of U.S. SMB sales operations, replacing Marc Lautenbach, who is taking over for Daniels.

Janet Perna, the respected general manager of the Information Management Group, also is retiring as of Aug. 15. Perna, who had spearheaded IBM&'s ambitious DB2 and information integration push, had been with the company for 31 years. Ambuj Goyal, now general manager of IBM Workplace, Portal, Lotus and Collaboration Software Products, will take on her job. Mike Rhodin, vice president of product development for the collaboration group, will become general manager.

Richard Kearney, CEO of Mainline Information Systems, a large IBM partner in Tallahassee, Fla., is bullish on the changes, especially Solazzo&'s new role.

“[Solazzo] is very partner-friendly, and we&'re also delighted to see Marc Lautenbach as head of sales,” Kearney said. “These are all great moves, and if history is any indicator, we&'ll probably see more changes.”