IBM Unix exec steps down

Val Rahmani, the IBM Corp. executive in charge of shepherding the company's top-of-the-line Regatta server, has shifted to corporate sales planning and will be replaced by a current server executive.

Adalio Sanchez, IBM's vice president of operations for the Server Group, will take Rahmani's place as general manager of IBM's pSeries server line, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The outspoken Rahmani is leaving the Server Group to help plan IBM's corporate sales strategy, an IBM spokeswoman said. Her title will be vice president of strategy.

The executive shuffle has already taken place, although IBM did not issue an official statement.

In 2000, Sanchez was appointed to head IBM's manufacturing procurement and business process engineering for PCs. He also held positions as manager of the company's ThinkPad laptop computers and was an executive in the networked storage division.

Rahmani's exit comes just months after she resurrected IBM's Unix line with the release of the p690 server, code-named Regatta. The p690 boasted some of IBM's most advanced chip technology and internal design work, making it one of the leaders in the Unix space. IBM had lost ground to Sun Microsystems Inc. in server market share and billed the p690 as a key to its comeback.

"IBM is not the sort of organization where managerial people put in deep roots," said Charles King, senior analyst at Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, California. "It's not always the type of thing where you step in and are there for years and years."

King noted that IBM has revamped most of its Unix line with the p690 high-end technology, adding faster processors and better management features to the midrange and low-end systems.

"They may just be ready to bring someone else in now," he said.

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