Feeds

Who is going to run IBM?

Chuckle or curse - you decide

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Bob Moffatt, who was tapped to be general manager of the company's Systems and Technology Group last summer when lifer Bill Zeitler, who has been an IBM systems exec since he left college, retired, is a probably a contender. Moffatt ran IBM's PC business (sold off to Lenovo) and its printer business (sold off to Ricoh) and has spent years running IBM's supply chain and cutting costs as operations have been moved overseas. Running STG is his first stab at running a big piece of IBM that actually has a hope of making money. I just hope Moffatt doesn't sell off the server business.

Ginni Rometty is also a contender, I think. She started out her career at General Motors, and eventually ran IBM's vertical industry business dedicated to financial services and insurance, including stints in Switzerland and Japan. (IBM likes its best executives to get a global perspective.) She eventually was put in charge of Global Services for the Americas and then was put in charge for marketing and sales for all of Global Services.

When IBM bought the consulting business of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Rometty was put in charge of that integration, and when Global Services was divided into two pieces because it had become too big, she was put in charge of Global Business Services. This bit of IBM has about a quarter of its employees and about a fifth of its revenues.

Linda Sanford, who has the nebulous title of senior vice president, on demand transformation and information technology, is also a contender. Sanford helped found IBM's supercomputer business in the early 1990s, and has been a general manager in charge of storage (when it grew) and mainframes (when IBM made the difficult transition from bipolar to CMOS mainframe engines). The job she has now is really something akin to chief technology officer at Big Blue, where she is tweaking and tuning the company's systems and business processes. (Don't you just hire Global Services to do that?)

There's one more possible contender who is not on the direct reports list. The IBMers I spoke to say that Rod Adkins, who is senior vice president of development and manufacturing within Systems and Technology Group, could be in the running. Adkins was a general manager for desktop PCs way back when, and was once general manager for Unix systems within Server Group when that was a separate job. He has experience as a high-level executive in printer, mainframe, storage, and software products at IBM, too.

Of course, there is one other possibility that is not yet on the list of direct reports to Palmisano.

Like Gerstner, this person is an ex-McKinsey consultant. (If such a thing is possible.) He was the founder of a small software company that was acquired by a much bigger one during the dot-com buildup. He rose through the ranks at that company very quickly, like Palmisano, and who found himself in charge of a struggling IT giant that he is trying to transform, like Gerstner. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am talking about Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO at Sun Microsystems. Well, for maybe another week or so.

$8bn seems like an awful lot to pay for some software and servers and a potential new CEO some day. Anyway, the idea seems to strike the IBMers I spoke to with a kind of horror. (Many cursed, some spat, but then they all laughed.) Which was the fun bit about April Fool's. It will be even funnier should it, by some strange twist of fate, come to pass.

Stranger things have happened. Like AT&T buying NCR, or IBM buying Sun. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.