Mark Fiore opens shop for Portera

US outsourcing company Portera has set up an Australian subsidiary to capture a slice of the professional services opportunities Down Under. Heading the new operation is Mark Fiore, who joined Portera from Invisic Software - where he was Asia/Pacific managing director - but who learned the professional services ropes while with accounting practice software developer CABS, now owned by Solution 6.

"For over a year now we've been inundated with requests to make our Web-hosted outsourcing solutions available outside the US. However, our philosophy has always been that we won't serve a market unless we have the local expertise to serve it properly," claimed Gary Steele CEO of Portera. "Now with the talented management, service and support professionals in our Australian subsidiary we have this expertise".

Portera's ServicePort application service is available in Australia now, but integrated Oracle applications and managed e-business services will not be released until early 2001.

80-20 attracts Australian executive

Enterprise software developer 80-20 Software has appointed Tony Summers as COO responsible for global operations and as executive vice president of finance and strategy. Summers was previously CFO of financial services giant AXA Asia/Pacific Holdings and a director of AXA China Region and National Mutual Health Insurance. He had previously held senior positions with CSR, Powercor and Unilever. 80-20 operates its headquarters in Washington, and recently secured funds from GE Equity to help it develop global initiatives. Earlier funding came from Intel, Telstra and Allen & Buckeridge.

All gloom at LibertyOne

There is not too much light and joy at LibertyOne following the departure of managing director Graham Bristow, who will also resign from the board, and his replacement by Marcelle Anderson, who was previously general manager of strategic investments. As the shock waves from Bristow's departure hit the company it was already trying to digest an exodus of senior staff from its Web development subsidiary ZIVO. The departing ZIVO staff included NSW general manager Robert Silver; creative director Jason Davey; client services director Erica Carroll; production director Michael Chanter; and creative director Tess Dryza. It is understood all five will be required to work out four weeks notice.

Around the traps

Regional venture capital fund IT Capital, which is listed on the ASX, has appointed John Dakin as CFO with the task of opening an Australian office. Dakin comes from the finance sector and has held senior roles in Lend Lease, Chemical Bank, Costain Australia and MBF Australia. Jeff Dittus, CEO of ITC who is based in Philadelphia, said Dakin will work from a new ITC office to be opened in Sydney in September.

Chris Bennet, recently appointed managing director of the Australian operations of SAP, has appointed Julie Fahey deputy managing director for Australia and NZ. She was previously in charge of the company's consulting business.

A door far away

Big names have moved at IBM where Sam Palmisano has been appointed president and COO and John Thompson vice chairman. The two will move into their new roles on September 1. Veteran IBM watcher Bob Djurdjevic, who runs Annex Research, believes the moves are not particularly significant in the short term, although they do signal that Lou Gerstner, who has been president of IBM since 1993, is setting the stage for his own departure. Djurdjevic said Palmisano had been identified as Gerstner's most likely heir apparent several years ago. "I don't seen any fresh new blood, I don't seen any shake-up," he explained. "I just see musical chairs being played."

Selby Wellman, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Interworks business unit, will leave the company on August 1. A statement released by the company said that Wellman's departure was due to personal and family reasons. He was credited with out-manoeuvring IBM in the market for products to connect SNA networks to IP networks, after which IBM sold its switching and routing assets to Cisco through a complex cross-purchasing agreement. Wellman had worked for IBM before joining Cisco.

Amazon.com, the highest profile e-tailer of them all, has lost its president and COO Joe Galli to B2B commerce community VerticalNet, where he will be president and CEO. He replaces Mark Walsh, who has been appointed chairman of VerticalNet. Amazon.com has not yet announced a replacement - nor, if it comes to that, Galli's departure.

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