D'Ambrosio's Exit Surprises IBM Software Staff

Word of his departure leaked out Aug. 12, they said, adding that D'Ambrosio, 38, was a rising star at IBM and one of the youngest executives ever to sit on its prestigious Worldwide Management Committee.

D'Ambrosio couldn't be reached at his home for comment.

>> D'Ambrosio was considered a rising star at IBM and a key driver behind its software business.

An IBM spokeswoman described D'Ambrosio as "a very ambitious man" and said D'Ambrosio decided to leave IBM to pursue other opportunities.

IBM Software staff said they weren't sure what opportunities D'Ambrosio was pursuing. However, one of the group's employees, who asked not to be identified, said to "watch the wires" for a potential announcement that D'Ambrosio has joined another company.

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Several weeks ago, the IBM spokeswoman had touted D'Ambrosio as IBM's "marketing maestro." She referred to him as "one of the key players behind IBM's software success," crediting him with helping to drive the company's software sales to almost $13 billion in 2001. D'Ambrosio also was a key driver behind the 10 percent growth in middleware sales that IBM logged in its second quarter ended June 30, while competitors such as Oracle and BEA Systems reported declines, she said.

In addition, D'Ambrosio was the driver behind IBM's Strategic Alliance Initiative launched in November 1999, the spokeswoman said. The program includes sales incentives and other benefits designed to foster partnerships with ISVs.

IBM has signed more than 70 strategic alliances under the program.

IBM Software employees said D'Ambrosio's exit won't impact IBM's software channel strategy and that the company, in fact, plans to accelerate its channel spending in second half of the year.

"People come and people go," said one IBM Software employee, who requested anonymity. "Nothing's going to change," he said.