Tivoli head leaves as parent IBM prepares for changes

Tivoli Systems President David Murphy is leaving, effective Friday, to join a smaller software company in California. IBM spokesman Joe Stunkard confirmed Murphy's departure, as well as reports that Steven Mills, an IBM senior vice president and group executive, will take over the head job at Tivoli in the interim.

Mills is the head of the software strategy group at IBM. Stunkard didn't name the software company Murphy will take over, but said his departure didn't come as a complete surprise to company officials. "There was some discussion leading up to this, of course, between Steve and David," Stunkard said.

At the same time, parent company IBM is preparing for management changes of its own.

IBM Chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner said in a television interview Thursday night that he is preparing Sam Palmisano, IBM's president and chief operating officer, to take over the technology giant as soon as IBM's board of directors is ready to make the change.

Gerstner's comments were included in a transcript of the interview provided by IBM. It wasn't clear this morning when the company's board plans to meet next.

On Monday, the company also announced a new integration plan for its software products. The effort is said to encompass all four of IBM's major software technologies below the operating system level: its WebSphere application server and DB2 database, Tivoli's management tools and the groupware and collaboration products made by IBM's Lotus Development Corp. unit.

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