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IBM installs temp server GM after insider trading furore

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IBM has put an executive in charge of its server, storage and chip business after the incumbent was put on a temporary leave of absence in the wake of an insider trading scandal that erupted last Friday.

Bob Moffat, who was senior vice president and general manager of IBM's Systems and Technology Group, no longer holds those titles.

"In view of the US federal investigation into his personal activities, Mr Moffat has been placed on temporary leave of absence and is no longer an officer of IBM," spokesperson Ed Barbini confirmed to El Reg. IBM has refused to comment further about the matter.

Barbini added that Rod Adkins, senior vice president of development and manufacturing for IBM's Systems and Technology Group, has been named as temporary head of that group. Adkins will continue to run development and manufacturing for STG, and will report directly to Sam Palmisano, IBM's chairman, chief executive officer and president. Like Moffat, Adkins is one of a handful of Big Blue execs that are being groomed to be the next CEO at the company when Palmisano retires.

Moffat has been implicated in an insider trading scam relating to two hedge funds, Galleon Group and New Castle Group, that allegedly profited to the tune of more than $20m in trades in various tech companies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manhattan District Attorneys office allege that Moffat provided insider information to New Castle executive Danielle Chiesi that allowed New Castle and possibly Galleon to profit illegally from trades in Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, and Sun Microsystems shares.

The alleged insider trading scam broke just as IBM was getting ready to wrap up a whole bunch of server, storage, networking and software products that span the breadth of the company's catalog and do another of its Dynamic Infrastructure big bang announcements.

These announcements are seen as a way of not only keeping everything somehow linked back to a key message Big Blue's marketeers are trying to hammer into IT managers' heads - Dynamic Infrastructure and Smart Planet are the key ones these days - but also a way for IBM to cut costs since it only has to pay for one announcement each quarter.

This particular set of announcements comes when IBM is not making any substantial mainframe or Power Systems server announcements, and as such, the Dynamic Infrastructure wrapper is a means of trying to make a bunch of little things look like a bigger thing.

The word on the street is that IBM is expected to go over its recent x64 server enhancements and make some additional announcements regarding new disk and solid state storage for its Power Systems lineup. There is also talk that IBM will make some networking enhancements across its server portfolio.

Four of IBM's top brass are expected to host a Webcast covering the announcements from a high level. Adkins was already slated two weeks ago to host the Webcast (not Moffat), and will be joined by Curtis Tearte, general manager of the Storage Systems division of STG; Rich Esposito, vice president of middleware services for Global Technology Services; and Al Zollar, general manager of the Tivoli Software division at Software Group. ®

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