IBM shuffled its executive suite Monday, moving Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Joyce to the head of its services group and naming global financial manager Mark Loughridge as his successor.
Joyce replaces Doug Elix, a 30-year veteran of IBM who has run IBM Global Services since October 1999.
Elix will now lead IBM's sales and distribution group, replacing Mike Lawrie, who appears to have kicked off the executive domino chain by deciding to leave IBM. A letter sent to IBM employees outlining the changes said Lawrie will be taking over as leader of another company. Siebel Systems Inc. announced later on Monday that Lawrie will become its new chief executive, effective Tuesday.
Joyce, Elix and Loughridge will all report to IBM Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano. Loughridge's successor in global financing will be named shortly, IBM said.
Joyce became IBM's CFO in November 1999, after years of work in the company's finance department and a stint as president of IBM Asia Pacific. The IBM Global Services organization he'll lead is IBM's largest division, with revenue last year of US$42.6 billion.
In his memo to staff, Palmisano cast the management moves as business as usual.
"The intent of these leadership changes is straightforward -- to step up the pace of our marketplace execution and accelerate our strategic growth plans," he wrote.
Yankee Group Inc. analyst Andy Efstathiou said IBM's Global Services group has been transformed in the past decade from a small add-on to the hardware and software groups into a core unit that is the envy of other IT vendors.
"It's a model most of the other firms are copying. It's been an extremely successful unit at IBM," he said.
He doesn't see any glaring weakness in the division that Joyce will need to remedy. Instead, the new executive's task will be to keep the services group growing, Efstathiou said. Joyce's background with IBM's Asia-Pacific business could be a great asset there: That region has been expanding rapidly and could be one of IBM's major growth engines, he said.