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IBM taps new execs to run Power Systems, mainframes

Potential future CEO moves on up the corporate ladder

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The executive who has been running IBM's combined Power Systems and System z mainframe units has taken a new high-level position working out Big Blue's overall strategy for the future for new CEO Ginni Rometty, and the company has appointed new leaders for its Power and mainframe units in the wake of that appointment.

Tom Rosamilia, who ran the System z mainframe business for a stint, took over the combined Power Systems and System z business back in August 2010. Rosamilia appointed Colin Parris VP and business line manager for the Power Systems side and Greg Lotko has been named VP and business line manager for the System z servers.

Rosamilia, who started out at IBM as an MVS developer in 1983, was appointed to head up System/390 software development in 1996; he brought Linux to the mainframe two years later, and then was made general manager of various software products within Software Group, including DB2, IMS, and Informix data management tools and then WebSphere products. He eventually became general manager of the vast WebSphere portfolio, which includes middleware, transaction processing, e-commerce, and other stuff.

Now, Rosamilia is vice president of corporate strategy and general manager of enterprise initiatives, and according to his bio will be "responsible for the strategic direction of IBM's future, as well as developing the path that IBM will take as we move forward in this new era of computing." Which sounds like the best possible job at the IBM Company, really. Anyway, keep your eye on Rosamilia. He is young enough to be the next CEO at IBM, and has done the classic turns through hardware and software to rise to the top someday.

When Rosamilia was tapped to move up to his new position, IBM broke the System z and Power Systems lines back into two different divisions. Parris takes over as general manager of Power Systems, and Doug Balog, who has run development for IBM's System x and BladeCenter machines and for IBM's TotalStorage disk arrays before that, is now the general manager for the System z line.

Like Rosamilia, Balog joined IBM in 1983 and has his System/390 chops, working on the development of the CMOS-based System/390s in the 1990s and being put in charge of OS/390 software development in the late 1990s.

Parris was vice president in charge of the systems software development labs for Systems and Technology Group before taking over his Power Systems roles. Prior to this, Parris was vice president of digital convergence in IBM Research, dealing with virtual reality, among other things (remember Second Life?), and was also vice president of industry solutions and emerging business before that. Parris got his BS in electrical engineering from Howard University, an MS in management from Stanford University, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories on switching systems after college, and joined IBM Research in 1994, working on distributed systems, integrated services networks, and something called nomadic systems, which involves setting up software agents to crawl around the internet and do your bidding. ®

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