Big names follow webMethods back home

When expatriate Australian Phillip Merrick - who earlier this year led his B2B solutions provider webMethods to the fourth most successful IPO in the history of NASDAQ - announced that he was opening the company's Asia/Pacific headquarters in Sydney, he produced a staff list that read like a list of the well-connected of IT - with Baan as a common denominator.

Tom Erickson has been appointed vice president of Asia/Pacific operations and has charge of webMethods' business in Australia, New Zealand, Greater China, South-East Asia, India, Korea and Japan. He joined the company from Baan.

Joining Erickson in the Sydney office are several other Baan refugees, including Gerhard Rumpff, managing director of Australia and New Zealand. Apart from his stint with Baan, he has also had executive positions with 3Com Australia and NZ, IBM Australia and NZ, Lotus Australia and NZ, and Lotus Central Europe.

Bill Beedie, director of sales, was sales director for Baan, but he has also been manufacturing and mining industry team leader for the SAP practice at Deloitte Consulting-ICS, and has worked for SSA and Oracle, among others.

Elizabeth Dillon, alliance and partner manager, was national reseller account manager at Baan, but has also worked for NEC and Alcoa.

Intel man heads Apple's region

Apple Computer has attracted Martin Geh from Intel, where he was director of APAC distribution sales and marketing, to take the job as vice president of Asia/Pacific. In his new role he will oversee all sales activities in the region.

Closer to home, corporate affairs manager of Apple Computer Australia, Myrna Van Pelt, is embarking on maternity leave. She will be replaced by Mina Silvestre, who joined the company from PR agency Blackie MacDonald. Apple's own PR specialist Angela Simmons is taking leave for the same reason and will be replaced by Tony Smith, from Wright Business Marketing.

SPL heavy turns up Down Under

Following the split in SPL WorldGroup the company's consulting and systems integration arm - WorldGroup Consulting - plans to move its head office from San Francisco to Sydney with Lewis Folb as CEO. Folb, who was previously senior vice president for SPL WorldGroup, has had a long history with the company, which he joined 28 years ago.

Folb started with SPL WorldGroup in South Africa as a sales executive, before moving into the marketing director's role and ultimately to the managing director's office. He was responsible for listing the company in 1985, when SPL became the first IT company ever to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

In 1994 Folb came to Australia as managing director, before moving to the US in 1998 to head up the consulting businesses global operations.

Data#3 execs focus on the knitting

Listed IT integrator Data#3 has announced that it intends to make some changes in the composition of its board and its executive team in order to improve managerial focus. From September 1 all executive directors will resign from the board to concentrate on their executive functions.

The company's senior management team will then comprise John Grant, CEO; Mark Esler, general manager for Queensland; Charles Tym, general manager for NSW; Michael Reidy, general manager for Victoria; Laurence Baynham, general manager for enterprise solutions; Max White, general manager of ERP solutions; Brem Hill, CFO; and Terry Powell, general manager of group operations.

Data#3's non-executive board will comprise Richard Anderson, chairman; Howard Stack, who will retire as chairman but continue as director; Graham Clark; and Craig Bishop.

Yankee Group sets up again

Following its takeover by Reuters, Yankee Group has reopened an Australian office with Rob Padgett as managing director of Australian and New Zealand operations. Padgett was previously with Conserve, which had represented Yankee Group while it had no direct presence here. Conserve will continue to operate with Padgett's former business partner Phil Chaney at the helm.

Padgett said the new office will support Yankee Group's consulting and research and analysis activities in and for the region. He added that since the takeover by Reuters the company had changed its business model. "Reuters has provided quite a stimulus for even greater growth," Padgett explained.

Around the traps

Megan James is about to leave EMC, where she is marketing manager, to join Broadvision in a similar role. James said she expects to have her work cut out for her in the new job with the big e-commerce player, which provides a suite of packaged applications for Web and wireless deployment. She is allowing herself one week off between jobs.

Neville Wran has stepped down as a director of IT technology investment company FTR Holdings after five years on the board. Wran said he will continue to maintain an active interest in the company.

Martin Hartcher has been appointed CEO of online commerce services provider Marketboomer. He joined the company from Access Online, where he was general manager of consulting solutions.

Coms21 has appointed Peter Le Gras chief operating officer of Motorpoint Australia, which is being acquired by Coms21. Le Gras was previously director of technology for Internet and IT investment company

Market research company Jupiter Communications plans to launch its Internet Commerce Forum in Australia in November and has boosted its Australian team with the appointment of Guy Cranswick as lead analyst with its Internet research services. He was previously director of marketing for Templar Technologies.

IDC has appointed three new analysts to its market research team:

Natasha David was recruited from Computerworld Australia to focus on software research;Kourosh Ghassemi has been appointed a researcher covering the small business market and IDC's vertical markets intelligence service. Prior to joining IDC Ghassemi was senior B2B e-commerce analyst at www.consult. He has also worked as a project manager for the National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE) and the online business development branch of the Department of Industry Science and Tourism.

Lisa Shishido has been appointed senior analyst in the Internet and e-commerce practice arena. Before joining IDC she was a research associate at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis in Massachusetts, where she worked on projects commissioned by the US Department of Defence

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