IBM's Top Services Executive Is Stepping Down

Michael Daniels, senior vice president and group executive, services, will retire on March 31 after a 36-year career with IBM, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

IBM's services operations are the company's largest, generating nearly $44 billion in sales in the first three quarters of IBM's fiscal 2012 -- more than 58 percent of the company's total sales.

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Daniels was thought to be in the running for IBM's CEO position following the retirement of former CEO Samuel Palmisano early last year. But that job went to Virginia Rometty, who took over as CEO on Jan. 1, 2012, and chairman in September.

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In 2010, following a reorganization, Daniels was given overall responsibility for IBM services. At the same time IBM's Software Group and Systems and Technology Group were put under the overall direction of Steve Mills with the title senior vice president and group executive, software and systems.

Senior Vice President Bridget van Kralingen is in charge of IBM Global Business Services, while Senior Vice President Erich Clementi manages IBM Global Technology Services.